06 January 2011

City through a lens

Interesting exhibition in the city centre:
Visitors to Plymouth’s city centre will be taken back through time by an exhibition of images and film clips from the city’s archives. 'City Through A Lens' will open at Frankfort Gate, Place de Brest and the Jigsaw Garden (near the Cornwall street entrance to the Drake Circus shopping centre) on Wednesday 5 January.

Large-scale display panels will showcase images of Plymouth between the 1930s and 1970s, drawn from the collections at Plymouth City Council’s record office and the City Museum and Art Gallery. Around 70 images will be on show, based on the four themes of ‘Home and Community’, ‘Building the City’, ‘Sea and Seaside’ and ‘Transport’.
They will be complemented by film clips from the South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA), which will be screened at regular intervals during the exhibition run on the Big Screen in Armada Way. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to funding from South West Screen and support from the Plymouth City Centre Company and was curated by social enterprise FotoNow.

"Plymouth experienced vast changes between the 1930s and 1970s," said Tony Davey, community engagement officer at the record office. "Blitz air raids in the Spring of 1941 had a devastating effect on the city, changing much of it beyond all recognition.

"The city’s image archives are incredibly rich and this exhibition will give people a glimpse of what home life was like in the past and help them understand the scale of the re-shaping of Plymouth after the Second World War. It will also highlight how important the sea and seaside have always been and show developments in transportation from horses to horse-power."

The exhibition is part of a project currently being undertaken by the record office, Museum and Art Gallery and SWFTA to improve access to the city’s archival image collections.

The project has also resulted in the creation of a website where teachers can find film clips, images and documents to support school curriculum topics, particularly at Key Stage 2 and 3 levels. Short films produced by students from the University of Plymouth will also be added to the site in the future, providing a contemporary response to the historical resources. Visit our Plymouth Pictured pages for more information.
"Our aim is to encourage people to make better use of the city's archives and think about how they record their own lives and communities," added Tony. "One day these images and film clips might become archives for future generations to enjoy and be inspired by.”

Councillor Peter Brookshaw, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Sport, said: "City Through A Lens will give shoppers and visitors of all ages a fascinating snapshot of Plymouth in years gone by, giving some a chance to reminisce and others a wonderful insight into the city's past."
City Through A Lens will run until Wednesday 23 February. A launch event will be held at Frankfort Gate from 2.30 to 4.30pm on Saturday 15 January.

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  1. Does anyone else see the irony of having a photographic exhibition outside of Drake Circus, a place where even thinking about taking a camera out of your bag will result in the hired muscle swooping upon you in seconds..

  2. “Drake Circus, a place where even thinking about taking a camera out of your bag will result in the hired muscle swooping upon you in seconds”
    Is photography illegal in and around the Drake Circus shopping centre?


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