Saturday, 21 September 2013

Through the lens: French street photographer captures "inspirational ...

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By Judith Hawkins

A French street photographer has chosen Manchester as the inspiration for his first exhibition abroad.

Pierrick Blons, from Rouen in Normandy, journeyed to Manchester especially to photograph the city, giving himself only a few days to capture it on film.

His photos are primarily shot in black and white, echoing the work of the photographers who inspire him such as Daido Moriyama, Henri Cartier Bresson, Bernard Plossu and Gildas Lepetit-Castel.

Pierrick said: “Each city has its own pace, rhythm, life… I really enjoy Manchester for the contrasts in the city, the way people are dressed, the architecture mixing the industrial and modern styles.”

The 29-year-old photographer has been honing his craft for six years, taking a particular interest in street photography since 2009.

Previous projects have included an exploration of his home town  Rouen by taking portraits of as many locals as possible, capturing all ages, origins, colours and religions.

MONOCHROME: Pierrick shoots primarily in black and white film

Pierrick particularly enjoyed the project because it combined technique and his favourite subject, people around him.

He explained: “My main subject is the people surrounding us. You see different people every day on the streets – going to work, running, trying to catch a bus.”

In June he travelled to Lisbon and took photographs of the anti-austerity protests by unions.

Pierrick said: “Everything can be a subject for a photo. When people are protesting against austerity around me it becomes an easy subject to choose.

“Actually it was the first time I really got into a protest like that and the atmosphere was really special.

“Even though I couldn’t understand what they were screaming and singing, there was something very strong coming from the crowd. It was a really intense experience.”

HUMAN INTEREST: Pierrick captured someone asking for directions


Turning his lens on Manchester for this upcoming exhibition, Pierrick highlights how his lack of local knowledge gives an interesting angle to his work.

“I’m trying to show the point of view of somebody who knows very little about the city,” he said.

“For this series, as with most of my current work, everything has been shot with film. I spent a few days running around Manchester, then I went back home in France and spent hours in the darkroom to process the films and print the pictures.”

The exhibition will open on September 28 at 3pm with a free ticketed event at Umezushi Restaurant on Mirabel Street, and will run until October 27. 

Tickets are available here.

Pictures courtesy of Pierrick Blons, with thanks

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Through the lens: French street photographer captures "inspirational ...

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