Nexus, Concrete Jungles, & The Photography Of Neale Smith (unlimited Studios, Partick, Glasgow)


nexus [ˈnɛksəs]
1. a means of connection between members of a group or things in a series; link; bond
2. a connected group or series
[from Latin: a binding together, from nectere to bind]

Warning: I have been indoors too long today and am at serious risk of becoming a bit philosophical here! The M8 motorway is an unlikely contender to make the pages of the Neglected and intimidating underpasses, brutal concrete flyovers, not to mention the bulldozing of swathes of Victorian Glasgow to make way for this artery for automobiles right through the heart of our Dear Green City; I almost feel sorry for the negative press this stetch of road receives.

Not afraid to be bold and as with other imaginative ideas to regenerate the city, this landmark of the brave new world was presumably thought up by the same perpetrators as isolated high rise communities and those who thought that the colour grey is going to liven up the environment and strengthen communities.

Nexus however, refers here to the impressive series of images by eagle-eyed photographer Neale Smith currently on display in Unlimited Studios, Glasgow (25 Hyndland Street, Partick) . A great little space, the design studio has begun to offer exhibition space and is worth keeping an eye on as other forthcoming shows are lined up.

Neale’s images shine a new light on perceptions of the M8, managing to capture a clearly sculptural quality in these images and enticing a closer look – taken entirely during the night and looking for a hidden beauty, the series highlights the stillness of these forms – designed for rapid motion and traffic flow.

Presented in vivid colours and intense detail, the photographs invite the viewer’s attention, sometimes identifying the location and in others offering a more isolated and remote location … a view from a random footbridge somewhere amongst all of this chaotic landscape. Neale’s work represents part of an ongoing project and in capturing these images, a worthy commitment to the cause has led him to locations otherwise off the map in the darkness of night. These photographs combined with careful and technically skilled blending of exposures offer a mesmerising look at the usually overlooked parts of the city.

Despite the daily turmoil of this elevated stream of traffic through Glasgow’s rush hour, I have in some strange way gained an attachment to this unavoidable part of navigating the city … in a similar way that people are sticking preservation orders on the slabs of brutal concrete masters of modernism, I have grown to marvel at its many charms, pedestrian interchanges and well you’ve guessed it… concrete engineering. For those of you that can, come and have a look at these images, see if they float your boat!

As much as I would like to see Green shoots of nature ravaging this system, the M8 is here to stay and as construction work continues on a new superhighway through the South of the city, we may as well begin to look forward to all our traffic problems being solved and the excitement of the acrid smell of gasoline filling the air around us!

Thanks to Neale for the great photos, and the exhibition is now on till the 10th December

For more info:
Neale Smith Photography
Unlimited Studios

By Tom Manley on November 25, 2010

Check out all the pics

1 Comment » RSS Comment Feed

  1. Stunning!!! I Love stuff like this.

    Comment by Dave — November 25, 2010 @ 11:28 am

Leave a comment