South of the River: The photographs of Jim Brogden on display at Leeds City Museum

By Richard Moss | 24 August 2010
a photo of a ruined brick building interior

(Above) Jim Brogden, Cloud (2010). © the artist

Exhibition: Jim Brogden, South of the River, Leeds Story Gallery, Leeds City Museum, Leeds, until November 1 2010

The abandoned buildings of Leeds' post-industrial landscape provide the raw material for photographer Jim Brogden's current show at Leeds City Museum.

Focusing on the themes of loss, memory and beauty in the post-industrial wastelands that now populate parts of south Leeds, Brogden's pictures dwell in the places where the urban landscape has fallen into disrepair and decrepitude.

To some these images speak of desolation, disenfranchisement, crime and a complicated web of inter-related socio-economic conditions, but the contradiction at the heart of them is the stark beauty they reveal.

In some ways South of the River could be a commentary on the failings of late 20th century capitalism, and Brogden's previous exhibitions certainly reveal a fascination with the politics, semiotics and meanings of the fractured urban landscape.

But these barren photographs of abandoned buildings and run down spaces, taken in the city's former industrial heartland, offer a window into human histories and reveal the magic that pervades images of urban decay.

Open 10am – 5pm (12pm – 5pm Wednesday, 1pm – 5pm Sunday, closed Bank Holiday.) Admission free.

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