about the photo project

Construction of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal began in 1770 and took over 40 years to complete. The canal is 127 miles long with 91 locks, each holding an average of 80,000 gallons of water. At one-time, it was an artery of the industrial revolution, allowing the expansion of the textile industry and growth of the northern cities. Over 1,000 boats used to work the canal. It was nationalised in 1948 and commercial traffic ended in the mid-1960s.

Share Your Own Story
I am looking for stories shared by the community along the canal to shape my upcoming photo book and exhibition. I hope to include extracts from some of the stories* in my work. If you think you can help and would like to know more, please follow this link to my website where you'll also see some of the stories shared so far: www.fitzgibbonphotography.com/share-canal-stories. Alternatively, you can contact me immediately through the social media and email links above, WhatsApp or Messenger (where you can record a message if more convenient than writing). 
*by sharing your story you are giving permission for it, or extracts to be included in my project.
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Artist's Statement
I walked the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, observing the burden of deindustrialisation, the areas of regeneration/gentrification, and the water’s tranquil flow over 127 miles. I saw the traces of humanity that mark possession, use and abuse. A ruined mill’s struggle for redevelopment, a make-shift garden house at the water’s edge, detritus dissonantly framed in shining water. Nature’s shrubby undergrowth filling the gaps of humankind’s neglect signposted by graffiti. Trees growing through the ruins of early capitalism where horse-drawn boats were once loaded. My work celebrates the richness of meanings and experience found in the everyday condition, along the waterway’s journey through marginal and affluent space. It shares the experience of a psychogeographic drift. There are no people in my images, only their traces. These marks are joined to the living and the long-gone through an actor-voiced narrative, sound recordings and samples from oral histories.
My motivation for making the work evolved as I explored. When I found the canal to be a back-route, mostly empty of people (even more so once the pandemic took hold), the work became the portrait of humanity through its traces; a cultural landscape of past activity. These remains of the everyday condition are often rendered invisible in socially shared and publicity images that reduce the landscape to a pastoral place of leisure. I would like the photographs and film to convey a sense of poignant calm and encourage viewers to take a closer look at things that often go unnoticed. There is beauty and there are stories to be discovered in the run-of-the-mill.
Andrew Fitzgibbon.
The Photographer
Andrew Fitzgibbon is a Yorkshire-based photographer, whose practice focuses on portraiture and the socialisation of landscapes. He is a final year BA (hons) photography student with the Open College of Arts, a member of Craven Arts, the Redeye Network and the OCA Fotograd Collective. 
See Andrew's other work at www.fitzgibbonphotography.com. If you would like to receive occasional email updates on this and other projects, please sign-up to a complementary newsletter
Andrew can be contacted through the social media links above or by email.​​​​​​​
If you enjoyed my short film, I would ask that you make a donation of what ever you can afford to the small rural food bank that supports my local community in these difficult times. My Just-Giving page is linked below. Thank you for what ever you can give.
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