For the past four years I have been working from my studio under the identity of The Engine Room Gallery and Workshop. Alongside this I have had a full time lecturing job in photography at The Manchester College. I have recently made the decision to leave my teaching position to concentrate full time on my own activities. This made it necessary to move to a larger studio, I need bigger darkrooms and a better gallery space, so after going up in the world - literally as the new space is two floors above the old one, I will soon be launching Purlieu.
Unfortunately it wasn't appropriate to keep my old identity. The Engine Room came from the fact that the studio used to be part of the space that housed the engine that powered the cotton mill. After some time and a lot of consideration I came upon the title Purlieu. A purlieu is a haunt - I certainly haunt my studio, it is an area on the outskirts - Mossley is on the outskirts of both Manchester and Oldham, and it is an area on the edge of woodland, originally parts of a royal forest that had been cleared - so a link to woodland.
I am to open Purlieu Workshop and Gallery in November 2017. It will feature lager darkrooms, the main of which will house a 5x4 and a 5x7 Chromega, a 5x4 and a 10x8 cold cathode DeVere and two 5x4 Omega enlargers (one closed loop the other condenser). There will also be a second smaller darkroom for film processing in both colour and black and white, plus colour printing if required. this will also have a colour DeVere and a third cold cathode DeVere should we need over flow space. Washing will take place in a dedicated room between the two darkrooms. darkroom space will be available for both workshops and individual hire.
As an exhibiting photographer i am all to aware of how difficult it can be to get your first solo show, unless you can afford to hire a gallery at usually extortionate rates and high commissions - the cost of not being recognised. Purlieu will also operate a large gallery which will be available at affordable rates for emerging photographers and artists. Assistance will be available for publicity and promotion.
Eventually I will also be hiring equipment for photographers to use for specialist antiquarian processes, or even digital photographers wishing to explore the world of analogue.
I will add images and text as the work progresses - at the moment it is very much a building site!