Walk thoughts

Is this about trying to make the city my own?

About finally having a place?

And yet, as I walk and read and photograph, as I begin to recognise the streets and their names and find my way around, the city shifts and slips through my fingers. The magnificent Wharncliffe Works continue to escape my camera. I can’t get it all in; just fragments. The building I photographed two months ago is in the final stages of demolition. A city-centre office block has been completed, against all the odds. A map I found in a burnt-out working men’s club has a note at the bottom saying that it should not be referred to after 28 days. The information can no longer be guaranteed accurate after a month. The lifespan of this map astonishes me. Still in these recessionary times, when building and urban regeneration projects are frozen and abandoned, the city continues to change, its speeds undulating as I walk through it and live in it with my own sense of time. The drag and drift of living in a city. I worry about my desire to preserve. And yet it concerns me that buildings are being carved up and commoditised anew, repurposed and re-invented in a prescriptive, rather than creative, critical or dissenting way.

Ph. Alan Murray-Rust

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