Memories Of The Near Future is a photography exhibition put together by photographer Robin Clewley on display at Future Yard, 75 Argyle Street, Birkenhead until the end of the year.
On Future Yard’s website, the venue said, “From pretty much the moment we got in to 75 Argyle Street, Robin has been there with us with his camera in hand, documenting the comings and goings as we’ve shaped a former nightclub into what Future Yard is now.”
birkenhead.news visited Future Yard to take in the exhibition and to have a chat over a beer (or two) with Robin Clewley.
“I’ve worked with Craig and Chris here at Future Yard and Lee and the team over at the Bloom Building and up at Make in Hamilton Square, so over the last couple of years I’ve been given this really beautiful introduction to Birkenhead. I’m amongst people who are really positive about the town. I’m working with people who are saying ‘Birkenhead is a brilliant town’ – it just needs a chance – somebody to put some fresh energy into it – and that’s what the guys I mentioned are doing.”
“For me, it’s quite an easy job, I suppose, in a way, documenting the wonderful things that they’re doing. They’ve built this incredible venue and they’ve put on some wonderful projects – The Future Yard Festival, The Left Bank Soundtrack, Soundcheck and so on.”
“I’ve been taking photographs since I was at college – I was 16 or 17 – I studied practical photography using film cameras and developing negatives, processing my own photographs – that sort of thing.”, Robin told us.
Robin is a freelance photographer based in Liverpool and after attending college, went on to university to study fashion for three years (an influence that can be seen in his studio portraiture work to this day.)
“I spent way more time in the darkroom than what I was supposed to be doing! One of my lecturers pulled me to one side and asked if I had considered photography instead.”
Combining his interest in music and photography, led him to meet Chris Torpey and Craig Pennington (the founders of Future Yard and of Liverpool based music magazine, Bido Lito!) “I started shooting for Bido Lito! maybe 10 years ago, or something like that. I built up a really strong relationship with Chris and Craig and the whole Bido Lito! team. I loved working with them, not just on the music stuff, but on other projects as well.”, Robin said.
Robin is originally from the West Midlands and studied at Liverpool University and has been here ever since. “I’d never been to Birkenhead before Chris introduced me to the place!” he said in a tone that indicated self-surprise that he’d never done so. “I’d lived in Liverpool for eight years before I made it to Birkenhead!”
On his newfound love for Birkenhead, Robin enthused, “I was shocked! I went for a walk around Hamilton Square and not having been there before, I didn’t know about this beautiful Georgian Square that wouldn’t be out of place in the posh parts of London. It’s a beautiful square.
“I went to Birkenhead Park as well and that was an eye-opener. Beautiful. Gorgeous. So well kept. No litter. I’ve taken the family there a few times since.”
“Photographing Liverpool is quite hard these days. Your eye is naturally drawn to one of the major landmarks and they’ve been photographed a million times. Finding interesting things, unique things to photograph in Liverpool is perhaps more difficult than finding things to photograph in Birkenhead, because it hasn’t been photographed as much.”, Robin explained.
With regards to taking photographs of Birkenhead, Chris’s brief to Robin was to “leave the car at home, get the ferry, get off at Woodside” and take photographs. Robin continued, “It was really just a case of doing what I love to do. I would just go for a walk and get a little bit lost and have a wander and see what I find – It was just really refreshing to see all of these streets in front of me that I’d not seen before.”
Memories Of The Near Future is at Future Yard, 75 Argyle Street, Birkenhead until the end of the year. Visit https://futureyard.org/memories-of-the-near-future-exhibition/ and https://robinclewley.co.uk/