Showcasing a collection of 19 thought provoking images and physical installations, the series avoids the usual cliché shots of the destitute, looking forlorn and lonely, and instead embraces the uncomfortable truth, turning the attention to the audience.
Tackling the issue of rough sleeping head-on, Yorkshire based Contemporary Fine Art Photographer, Nigel Tooby, exemplifies his creativity by putting each piece into stark context. Carefully choosing the framing and mountings, Nigel has purposefully used materials that would typically be found on the streets to create his vision including paving slabs, wooden crates and cardboard boxes.
The final collection, and its tragic theme, switches the audience from viewer to subject; giving visitors a first-hand experience of the many difficult situations the homeless find themselves in each day. Not only does the series evoke real and raw emotion but it also encourages discussion around a topic that is all too easily ignored.
Nigel comments: “Homelessness is a growing and significant issue in the UK and I wanted to do something to draw attention to the real world of rough sleeping. We all presume to know how people end up on the streets, but rarely will we take the time to question or understand what they go through.
“With Eye Spy I want to force the audience to consider the other side to this story. We hear about the drugs and the drink, we hear about the depression and the sex attacks, but what about hiding bedding that has been soiled, the anti-social behaviour and unnecessarily extreme reactions from passers-by? What about being made to feel inferior and excluded for resting opposite a coffee shop or the tears that are silently spilled over past lives and loves lost? What about the stories that go unheard?
“Eye Spy isn’t for the faint hearted, I never intended it to be. I want people to come along, appreciate the work and take from it the serious message about homelessness. If people are more mindful as a result, then I know my work however harrowing has had a lasting and positive impact.”
For further details of Nigel’s work including ‘Of our times, the price of money’, which featured at the Rope Walk in Hull please visit www.nigeltooby.co.uk.