Human Endeavour have been asked to be involved in a project by Banks Street Arts in Sheffield. The project is to respond to the title of Simon Armitage’s book ‘The Motorway Service Station as a Destination in its own right.’ There is going to be an exhibition and publication. The exhibition will run from the 14th of May until the 8th of June at Bank Street Arts.
Bank street arts write about the exhibition:
The title alone of Simon Armitage’s 2011 poetry pamphlet, The Motorway Service Station as a Destination in its Own Right (published by The Poetry Business) was the inspiration behind and catalyst for this exhibition. Created to coincide with the second Sheffield Poetry Festival, selected photographers were invited to take part as much for the differences in their approach and style as for any similarities in their work. The resulting exhibition is an eclectic show of contemporary photography in which participants have used the title of Simon’s pamphlet as a point of departure, alongside the work of others who have more closely referred the content and mood of the original poems. Whilst all involved were aware of who else was taking part and free to communicate with each other, most of the work was undertaken in relative isolation. Photographers taking part are: Si Barber, David Barnes, Andy Brown, Simon Carruthers, Richard Chivers, Andrew Conroy (with the collaboration of Simon Armitage and Ian Baxter for the soundtrack), Alex Currie, Jessa Fairbrother, Sam Mellish, Andrew Robinson, Tribble and Mancenido.
Here are a selection of Alex Curries photos.
The number of pubs in England is in steep decline. Between 2006 and 2012 an average of 23 pubs permanently closed their doors each and every week. The finger of blame is often pointed at the big supermarkets selling discounted booze, the stalling economy and the smoking ban introduced in England in mid 2007. Property developers and supermarkets have been accused of predatory purchasing especially where high street pubs occupy sizable plots or include car parking space. Tesco alone has recently acquired 130 pub sites, intended for Metro convenience stores. Each of these factors has no doubt had a significant impact on the number of pub closures but there is a lesser-known and potentially more consequential reason for the high numbers of failures.
Half of the pubs in England are operated by PubCos – large property companies who lease pubs out to tenant landlords. PubCos are accused of squeezing profits from landlords by monopolising and overpricing the alcohol they supply to their landlords and charging rents well above market value. Otherwise successful businesses are being forced to close because landlords are unable to draw a living wage whilst PubCos reap the profits.
The reasons may be numerous but the fact is singular: England’s public houses are closing down at an unprecedented rate – during the last decade the overall number has been reduced by 15%. This matters because it is a blow to a fundamental of English culture, but mostly it matters because all too often a pub is the focal point for a community.
23 Red Lions is an England-wide survey of Red Lion pubs that closed down between 2006 and 2012. The series is titled after the most common pub name in England.