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Andrew Brooks: Love Manchester

Get down to 52 Princess Street if you want to look at Manchester differently

Published on March 29th 2010.

Andrew Brooks: Love Manchester

Andrew Brooks, Manchester-based photographer/digital artist/film-maker, was commissioned by MIDAS to create a series of photographs which promote the range of commercial property available in Manchester to investor businesses. The resulting exhibition, called 'Love Manchester', is being held in the modern entrance space of 52 Princess Street, with the large-scale photographic prints apparently “doing a good job at brightening the place up”, according to the receptionist on duty (Brooks would surely be pleased to hear this). You may remember Brooks from his exceptional Urbis exhibition last year called Hidden Manchester.

There is a touch of the cosmic in lots of the fantastical panoramas, a deliberate allusion that's hard to miss. In fact, one of Brooks' personal favourites is of Rochdale Wind Farm (a photograph which stands out by the simple fact that its setting is rural instead of urban) which looks a still from a science-fiction film.

It is easy to tell from the photographs on show that Brooks' heart lies with something other than the promotion of commercial property; he has used the brief as an opportunity for aesthetic endeavour. The concise exhibition reads more like a cosmic story-book of the city than any sort of promotional stunt; indeed, Brooks told Confidential that he never pays too much attention to a brief, but sets about creating beautiful pictures that will hopefully fulfil it. The atmospheric quality of the pictures comes first, the brief second.

Rochdale Wind Farm

Here you get Piccadilly Place, the Imperial War Museum North, Media City, Urbis, Spinningfields and John Rylands, amongst other landmarks, but you will see them as you have never seen them before – vivid, warped and strange. Familiar buildings and spaces are featured alongside unknown or secret places, usually photographed from hidden views, new angles and often at great heights. You will be surprised to hear that Brooks actually has acrophobia but can distract himself from it as long as he is behind a camera. Take the camera away, however, and he'll be a bit wobbly.

New York Street - Ariel View

There is a touch of the cosmic in lots of the fantastical panoramas, a deliberate allusion that's hard to miss. In fact, one of Brooks' personal favourites is of Rochdale Wind Farm (a photograph which stands out by the simple fact that its setting is rural instead of urban) which looks a still from a science-fiction film.

The aerial view of New York Street is an impressive feat. It was taken from one of the highest floors of City Tower through glass, evidence of which Brooks has managed to remove. You can't help noticing puddles on rooftops. You wouldn't otherwise think of puddles on rooftops, but puddles there are. In fact, all the rooftops of Manchester are active which we, going about our days on the ground, are entirely oblivious to.

New York StreetSpinningfields

There's something eerie and nostalgic about the photograph of a generic tower-block and its surrounding skyline taken of Chapel Street, Salford. Brooks took this photograph from the top of Islington Mill, the former cotton spinning mill in Salford; he wanted to capture a moment where these disregarded 70s leftovers (that we usually think of as innately grey and bleak) looked, if only temporarily, golden and beautiful in the reflected sunset – hopeful, almost.

Chancery PlaceBolton

You’ll see a few sunsets. And scudding clouds and dramatic skies. Brooks says it’s important to pick the right time of the day to achieve the most vivid photographs - things look most dramatic at the beginning or end of the day. You couldn’t achieve the science-fiction feeling so evident in Brooks' photographs on your lunch-break. As the sun begins to set, however, he reckons “the light skims buildings more effectively and defines them more perfectly” – and that’s when he pulls his camera out.

Piccadilly Place

Cityscapes of this sort need to be different to be impressive: there are so many hackneyed cityscape variants. Brooks does his own thing, delivers his own distinctive take on Manchester, and thus, in turn, makes us view our city differently. If you love Manchester and are a fan of modern, digital photography, then go and see ‘Love Manchester’.

John Rylands Library

Visit his website here
Weekdays 10am-4pm
Running until mid-April

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Trevor MorteMarch 30th 2010.

The quality of these pictures is unbelievably good. I want them. Is there anyone I can contact? Or a link?

EditorialMarch 30th 2010.

His website contains contact details: http://www.andrewbrooksphotography.com

Leigh ScottMarch 30th 2010.

Do you mean Chancery place?

EditorialMarch 30th 2010.

Bless you Scoteee we do. Thanks

APBrooksMarch 30th 2010.

Hi Trevor,
Glad you like the work, I have just added a new poster print page to my site which is at this link www.andrewbrooksphotography.com/editions.php…


Leigh ScottMarch 30th 2010.

Andrew- I don't suppose you give up much information of the camera and lenses used do you?

Andrew15174March 30th 2010.

All shot on a D200, with a wide'ish lens, then much post production to pull the images together. Most of the above shots were built(in photoshop) from over 50 captures. It gives me lots of control over the image, and the spaces I can repesent in the pictures.

Leigh ScottMarch 30th 2010.

Well I think they're great and I wish I could earn a living doing what you do..

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