Wherever you live, there are always places that intrigue, where, if you had the time, you’d like to look, see what’s down the alley, on the upper floor, on the other side and behind the door. Andrew Ross is an artist who sensitively seeks out those places and finds the way in.
Until recently, this building and the adjacent swimming baths were earmarked for demolition, hence Ross’s desire to photograph the site. As with all of his photographs, this is a beautiful study of light, with the line of coloured light bulbs spanning the street suggesting vestiges of a street party long since over. An interior shot shows a row of hooks that would have once held the coats of ladies attending dances in the hall.
Ross isn’t just interested in photographing places that were once occupied, he is very much interested in talking to the people who are still there or who were there, who can tell their stories. Ross is as much a social historian and archivist as he is a photographer, and the people he documents are those whom he is genuinely interested in getting to know. Ross doesn’t merely photograph his subjects and then leave the building; he stays in contact. The photographs in the exhibition are extraordinary studies of light – quiet, unassuming, grungy beauty – and are evidence of a photographer who has an ability to listen as well as look.