On Tuesday, at a time when I would normally be hunched, neckless and taut and squinting at a familiar illuminated screen, I was instead settling myself into a First Great Western corner seat and making my way to Oxford. Having not been to the city since a visit as a small child, I had hazy memories; it was Old, of course. My trip allowed me little time to take in any more of the city than my walk from the station to my destination, and back again, but interestingly my preconceptions based on childhood memories were vastly different to what I found.
Perhaps some parts of Oxford are Harry Potter-esque; magical and bursting at the seams with historical tales just begging to be dramatised by out of work actors leading local walking tours. The walk from the station to the new home of the Story Museum does not take in these sights. More like local seedy nightclubs and streams filled with rubbish, but in a way that worked for me and my trusty Nikon. The day was extremely dull. That light rain which has no redeeming features soaking everyone slowly and miserably, pairing up with the biting wind to form a two-pronged, spiteful winter weather attack. I knew instantly that the majority of the photos would end up in black and white. Natural colour was almost absent from the oxford city palette on that day, so it seemed pertinent to help it along its way and focus mainly on tone, contrast and a little experimentation.
On arriving at the Story Museum, for the Action for Children’s Arts AGM, we were treated to a guided tour of their new home, conjuring the image of what it is to become. Ready for conversion and refurbishment, the dilapidated building was a photographer’s dream. Well, a photographer like me anyway, whose particular interest lies in details and unusual composition. Lots of bits falling off of this and things stuck on that; strange objects and random placings. Perfect. What resulted from the day are shown below, with an extended selection on Flickr shortly…enjoy.