24OUR CITY was a 24-hour portrait photography project realised in collaboration with the wonderful and inspiring maker and creator Sarah Middleton on Stokes Croft in Bristol, UK from 8am on 5. December 2017 to 8am on 6. December 2017.
Stokes Croft has over the past decade or so become the beating heart of Bristol with an international reputation for artistic ingenuity, fierce independence and as a home to a diverse community that strives for self-governance, social innovation and inclusion.
25,000 people per week pass through this vibrant cultural quarter: by car, by bike or on foot, leaving invisible imprints as they make their way to and from the city centre to commute to work, to go shopping, to enjoy the harbourside, or to head further afield via the nearby motorway – wherever their destiny takes them, Stokes Croft is the conduit to a diversity of destinations and a silent witness to their journeys.
The idea behind placing a living room set on the pavement was to give passers-by an opportunity to interrupt their personal journey on that day so that they could experience and contemplate a home away from home: a distinctly private setting in a public place – one that evokes feelings of belonging, security, comfort and ownership.
The resulting portraits are as much a time slice in the history of a place, as a representation of the different kinds of connections people have to it. People’s choices about where to place themselves in the set and how to present themselves to the camera say much about how they see themselves and their place in this colourful and at times chaotic urban environment.
And in much the same way audiences who view the wealth of individual portraits and the diversity of the resulting collection of photographs are given the opportunity to stop and reflect about their own ideas and feelings with regard to the public places that are in turn a part of the fabric of their own lives.
A great many thanks go out to all the wonderful volunteers that helped us on the day with additional photography, photography assistance, site security and by talking to the people passing of Stokes Croft to explain what we were doing and to invite them to participate.
They are in no particular order:
Ellie Burd, Tom Booth, Lucas Birtles, Harry Norbury, Mark Lawrence, Chloe Turvey, Maria Costa-Pereira Matthews, Olivia Reeves, Megan Johnston, Natalie Haywood, Mitchell Jackson, Gabriella Melville-Shaw, Lucy Morris and Louise Higgins.