Tidy Street, Brighton, residents photographic installation by Lisa Creagh
6 October to 22 October, Brighton Photo Fringe
Tidy Street, in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine, will be turned into
a large scale public gallery for the duration of the Brighton Photo
Fringe this October, in a project with residents by photographic artist
Lisa collaborated with the residents of the street using snapshots
from their personal photo albums to be exhibited in their house windows,
each image transformed into a window-sized light box and illuminated
from 6 pm to 10 pm for the two weeks of the festival.
Tidy Street has had a long and varied history, reflecting the changes
that Brighton city as a whole has experienced. In the 1850’s for example
the street was a mix of homes and businesses, including a greengrocer,
dressmakers, beer retailers, plumbers and painters and coal merchants.
Now the street is home to young and old alike, those that have lived on
the street for most of their lives, to those that are new to Brighton,
those with young families, students and commuters, has two contemporary
lifestyle and fashion boutiques and the Americana café-diner, Rock Ola.
Some participating residents include;
Heather Hacker: Heather has lived in Brighton since the late forties.
She moved to Tidy Street after the death of her husband and has lived
there for nearly thirty years. She says she knows many of her neighbours
and is keen to take part in the project, using a photograph of herself
and her father taken by her mother in Kenya where Heather lived as a
child. Heather said she was curious to know why Lisa had chosen Tidy
Street for the project and she comments; ‘I think it’s a great idea. I’m
really curious to see what everybody will use for their windows.’
Sarah Wright: Sarah has lived in Tidy Street for 15 years. She has a
keen interest in local history and thought the idea was very original.
To begin with Sarah was unsure of which image to use. Sarah adds: ‘I
think it’s a jolly good idea. It must be fascinating to meet everybody
on the street and find out what makes them tick.’ Sarah’s photograph is
of herself with children twenty years ago.
Darren and Lore Johnson were very supportive of the idea. “I work as
events organiser at the Grand, so I understand the challenge of putting
something like this together,’ comments Darren, and adds ‘It’s obvious
but true that one street contains so many interesting stories. Pictures
are a great way to see in to the soul of the street and catch a glimpse
of what’s truly behind those net curtains.’
Lisa wanted to connect the residents of this central city street through
their everyday experiences and the medium of the ‘snapshot’ photograph
fitted this goal perfectly. Lisa also wanted to bring photography to a
larger audience than the traditional gallery setting can reach.
Lisa comments: ‘I have been given photographs from the beginning of the
last century to ones taken recently and all share a common theme of
personal, ordinary experience, photos of dads and their daughters on the
beach, kids larking about on the sofa at home, all taken at different
times in the last 100 years, but all surprisingly familiar to the
She continues: ‘This is very much a celebration of normal life and of
living history. I wanted to avoid the gallery setting to show this work;
it’s an exhibition created by the street, so it’s fitting to exhibit
this in the street. I want the public to be able to enjoy this
exhibition at their leisure as they to go about their everyday life.’
The Tidy Street photographic exhibition was visible all day from the
living rooms of houses on the street, and illuminated from 6 pm to 10
pm daily from 6 to 22 October.