A few brief words on the launch of the photo exhibition “Twit Chester”… It’s been a very busy few weeks compiling some of the best images from the last year… and what a journey its been…. Looking back from the initial appearance of “Kony” at Easter 2013 and the eerily timed “We need more shit” on Frodsham street.. to the countless festivals and parades that the city has hosted. Looking through the archives its clear that despite the city’s well known failings, cinema, theatre, car parking, etc.. something is pretty much going on all the time. My diary is pretty full of events to attend and people to see, blogs to write. Chester really has a lot to offer besides 7 branches of Costa, if people can open their eyes to everything around them. The exhibit showcases random shots including an abandoned sofa, an early morning “zombie”, sadness on the football pitch, racing Santas, Romans on parade and a world war 2 solider texting on his iphone ( one of my favourites from this years Foyles War filming). Its also a showcase to people I’ve met across the city, and friends past and present. I hope the exhibition combines a documentary feel with a lot of affection for the city.
The evolution of a @ShitChester community has been a pleasant surprise and this was shown by the great turnout at the opening night… from “real world” friends and work colleagues, to local business figures like the greengrocer Kevin Brackenbury, to musical supremo Daniel Schott, vintage retailer and T shirt designer, Carrie from Becnicks, 2 members of The Suns, 2 of Chester’s top photographers, 2 journalists,1 member of CWAC, artists, political activists and campaigners and many more figures from the community. Sadly the Lord Mayor Bob Rudd and Dee106’s Gavin Matthews couldn’t make it on the night, but hopefully they will be able to follow in the footsteps of Mike Jones and visit soon .. ( he described it as a “nice exhibition” )
Many thank yous, to Hadfield photography- for legal advice about image use , and mainly for helping present the photographs, truly great and talented guys. Noel and Jane for organising the opening night and pouring many glasses of wine… Carmella De Lucia and Neil Bellis for their excellent promotion of the event last week.. and everyone who attended really. It was both flattering and surreal that so many people came. Things got even more surreal when 2 Chinese tourists wandered in off the street, claiming they had been invited.. I asked them to take positive messages back to China, but of course they hadn’t heard of twitter as it is banned in their country.
I’m still not sure of where this is all going but if we can continue to nurture a sense of community and share our experiences, both bad and good, then I will be happy with that. The team is strong and I am confident that we can do good work with this… in some way… or whatever…. And how strange that we’re at this point 18 months later, to everyone that has supported the account , thanks again
For a much better written overview of the exhibition please check out http://armchairartcritic.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/twit-chester-handels-court-gallery-northgate-street-chester/
Here the author has pin pointed some of the sadness behind the evolution of the account, ploughing through @ShitChester has been great therapy for me. “Do you think the world is a comic place or is a tragic place?” the pioneering comedian Tony Hancock was once asked in the 60s… ” It’s both funny and sad..” he replied ” which seem to be the two basic ingredients of good comedy”… you’ve got your sadness of cinemas closing and personal issues, then you’ve got a glorious purple sky behind the Eastgate clock and a smile raised by an umbrella carrier passing “Rihanna’s nails” or the post modern joy of photographing Les Battersby outside Starbucks.
The nice people at Chester Culture have also done a review at https://chesterculture.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/photo-exhibit-shitchester/
This is Chester!!
The exhibition runs until the 16th Sept the gallery is open Tues to Sun after 12 each day.