A photographic investigation presented at Jordangate House as part of the Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield.
I became captivated by the evidence of workers lives and activities that survive in the old Paradise Mill, Macclesfield. Trace elements, remnants, scribbles and scratches remain, providing poignant visual reminders, a record of peoples day-to-day interaction with the place. Scars left by up-rooted machinery and the years of industry are everywhere to be seen. The noise, the voices, all those stories ingrained in the floors and absorbed in walls and woodwork.
Such close-up photographic scrutiny may seem like a form of forensics, an attempt to interrogate the past, to find significance and meaning in these details. But Paradise Mill, a poetic irony in the very name, invites a creative response to its history, its physical presence and decline. It offered me corners of quiet alchemy, where crude patches of concrete or wood become transformed, become beautiful; where for a moment I might sense some distant footstep or catch some barely audible whisper.