I have been commissioned to document the changing face of a local pub which a friend has bought and intends to update, as sensitively as he can. The people who use the pub are worried that their communal watering hole will be changed beyond recognition and that they will no longer be welcome there, or feel comfortable. The new landlord wants to ensure that the users of the pub continue to use the pub as they always have done, and encourage the rest of the community to as well. What lies beneath his project is a desire to address the lack of social cohesion in our historical borough and building community links, which are quickly being eroded by ‘progress’. He is doing an MA and this work will support that in some way.
The photographic project is actually quite challenging, despite the fact it requires me to spend time there (which I know for some might not sound challenging at all!) As a mother my time is limited, which is one challenge – I can’t actually spend as much time in the pub as I think the project would benefit from. But also, photographing and intruding on people who are simply there to have a drink and chat with their mates isn’t always that comfortable. However, they are getting used to my face and presence and I am getting used to being there when I can. So there has been some progression. The pub closes in order to be refurbished in two weeks so I am extremely limited about getting before shots – not that the project is merely a before and after exercise. I imagine I will be working on it for a number of months.
Image (c) SJField 2016