From Stretford with Love, a new people-powered, immersive exhibition that documents a year in the life of Stretford has opened to the public.

Made up entirely of Polaroids taken by the people of Stretford over the course of a year-long “photo-relay”, the exhibition is described as a love letter to the town from the people that live there and is curated by much-loved artist Simon Buckley of Not Quite Light.

In July 2021 members of the Stretford community, Simon and the Stretford Town Centre team embarked upon a journey to document a year in the life of Stretford, seen through the eyes of those who live in the town, using a simple Polaroid camera.

Simon worked with each resident to teach them how to capture the perfect photograph. After the first session, the photographic relay began, and each week participants took their turn with the camera, capturing their own ‘photo diary’ of their life and town centre that week.

Each collection of photographs is shown alongside a soundscape of voices from participants mixed with a specially created soundtrack of Stretford.

The material captures a huge range of experiences and viewpoints, with each artist bringing their own unique vision as to what life in Stretford is like for them. From family tea and community parades to signage, landmarks, beloved pets and long-lost graves.

Speaking about the work on show, Simon Buckley said: “I’m genuinely delighted by the final collection of polaroid images, and the stories they tell when all placed together. The project encapsulates a moment in time creating a unique view of everyday life through both images and sounds. Stretford has an extraordinary community spirit, and this is very evident when you see the work, and the enthusiasm with which it was created.”

From Stretford With Love is free to view and is on display to the public from 17th February at Stretford Public Hall. It will eventually live permanently at a location in Stretford Town Centre.

Fri 17 Feb,
Stretford Public Hall, Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester M32 0LG
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 20 Feb 2023