WWS presents Southern Take – Peter & Colleen Corley
Peter Corley: “The title of this exhibition reflects my attempt to mythologise an area I have long been drawn to as an outsider – a tendency that began over forty years ago in response to `kitchen sink `dramas of the 50`s and 60`s. At that time, despite the advent of `swinging London’, it was the North which introduced a working class voice to British art.
“Many of the pieces were love stories featuring restless young men at odds with closed communities. Strangely enough, I was often attracted, even then, by the very world they found so restricting. Particularly appealing was the blend of urban and rural. Stone terraced houses and big gothic structures were shown set against steep hillsides with wild moorland beyond .It was as though the average mill-hand was a countryman at heart. Hindsight teaches us, however, that the mood of those films and books was elegiac and valedictory to begin with, and usually in conflict with the themes they laid claim to. This was because heavy industry, bedrock of the northern economy, had been in serious decline for years, and was about to enter its final phase during the 1970`s and 80`s- a period of social upheaval, memorably documented by several of my favourite photographers, including Martin Parr, John Davies and Peter Mitchell, all of whom operated in W. Yorkshire – the area portrayed in this show.
“My own response has been to celebrate the impact that derelict, industrial architecture continues to exert on our imaginations. Sustained neglect has only served to boost the romantic quality of such places, and as knowledge concerning their function recedes in popular memory so the sense of mystery deepens.”
‘Before these chimneys can flower again
They must fall into the only future, into earth`
Ted Hughes ‘Lumb Chimneys’