Portfolio: Steve Lovegrove

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Inveresk Railyards: doors to the past

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This set of photographs of the old Inveresk Railyards in Invermay Street, Launceston, is a small part of a much larger collection that follow a theme I have been pursuing for a number of years.

For most of the time I have been taking photographs, I have been interested in “found” objects, and photographing everyday scenes and places that people don’t ordinarily notice — especially trying to find the beauty in subjects that might normally be considered ugly in the conventional sense. This is achieved by looking for a detail or angle, or by choosing a film that will isolate or enhance what’s already there. In many cases there is no technique required, just the eye to see.

In recent years, this interest has taken a specific direction, with a special focus on architectural objects – windows, doors, fences and derelict buildings. Many of the subjects photographed would once have been beautiful in their own right, but now in decay, take on a totally different and new beauty. When wandering around the Inveresk Rail yards prior to much of the renovation work that has now been undertaken, I found literally hundreds of these photographs.

I like to photograph things other people might not notice. From day to day, people may be aware of a building, but never look at details. They see a whole building and in the case of many that I photograph, it is an old, ugly building. People don’t stop to look at patterns or architectural detail. It is difficult for many people to look at peeling paint and see beauty. However, when presented with a photographic image, they are more attuned to looking at it in an artistic context and are able to see the interest in such detail. So a crumbling window shutter or other detail becomes aesthetically pleasing.

I have not had a chance to return to the rail yards since these photographs were taken, and probably I wouldn’t be as interested anyway, as I suspect that most of these scenes would now be gone.

STEVE LOVEGROVE