Stewart Wall MA, ARPS
I remember being a young boy living in a cottage on a farm, my father worked on the farm. We moved to a council house in the town and my father started working for Hoffmann’s, a factory that “once employed 7500 employees over 50 acres (20 ha) in its heyday and was wound down during the 1980s” but not before my parents purchased their home from the Thatcher-led government.
Around 1990, I rented a room in the old Hoffmann’s factory to use as photographic darkroom and remember smelling the oil and labours of long-ago workers. By 2000 I had moved on and was using the new digital cameras, the Hoffman site is now a university.
I have recently completed a degree in design and photography, and a master’s in visual language and, during that time, engaged with Le Corbusier’s brutalist architecture and Utopian concepts of habitation, and I also looked at Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City and the Welfare State..
These images are from a project I have been working on which documents the gentrification of land, and the decanting of a once needed industrial social class from the town I now live near.
I am a professional photographer who began work as a staff photographer on The Brentwood Gazette in 1978 whilst still enrolled as a schoolboy. My degree in design and photography began at Grimsby and finished at Lincoln, and my master’s in visual communication was at Hertfordshire. Currently I teach as well as still running a professional practice. I am pleased to be a member of this group of excellent photographers.
Where families once lived and worked, the men in high vis arrived with their machines to gentrify the landscape. Many hard-working men left leaving others to endure a new future of desperation