She is the wander, rambler, strolling player. Sometimes she would like to be a settler, but, curiosity...and disaffection forbid it.
Swallowing Geography, Deborah Levey
My work focuses on documenting and sharing stories from the streets mainly through the visual culture of the walls, abandoned places and found objects. I have a special interest in the ephemeral landscape found in urban spaces which I trace through photographing graffiti, sign-painting and street art.
I fuse together photography and walking to discover alternative ways to navigate and think about places, exploring themes connected to ‘freedom, memory and space’. I use documentary photography within this context to connect with the streets and to record the stories that are written on the walls.
As a visual artist, I am interested in using alternative photographic processes and other printing methods to share my photographic work such as cyanotype and screen-printing, self-publishing zines.
I am a British artist living and working mainly in the UK and Jamaica.
My other work includes being the founding Director of Ghost Streets CIC which is an arts organisation that delivers community arts projects in Birmingham, UK. The work is focused on using art to help people and communities think about places, create public spaces that matter to people and bring people together.
I have a Masters in Public Health and extensive experience of working with communities for more than twenty years in the public sector mainly on projects that tackle a range of inequalities and social issues.
Hand-painted Jamaica - is a long term documentary photography project that explores the visual landscape of Jamaica through graffiti (daubed scribblings, writings and drawings, sign-painting and street art found across the Island. The original work includes interviews with contemporary sign and mural artists in Jamaica's.
Its is the only photographic survey of the hand-painted walls of Jamaica and led to the first-ever exhibition on Jamaican graffiti, signs, and street art held in the UK in April 2019 called Big Tings A Gwann Down Di Street. A limited-edition zine accompanies the series available here.
In 2020 two new series from the collection Hand-painted Jamaica were published as online galleries. The new body of photographic work includes a digital picture series called Riddym which focuses on the language of the walls linked to Jamaican music. The second Lots of Signs: Jamaican Dancehall Signs explores the disappearing art of hand-painted dancehall signs in Jamaica presented as an online gallery and printed zine available for UK orders here or oversees shipping click here.
Ghost Signs of Birmingham - was a documentary photography project that has captured the fading old advertising signs found in Birmingham, UK. The signs are more popularly known as 'ghost signs'. It's the only photographic survey of these signs in Birmingham with the earliest ghost sign photographed as part of the research dating back to around 1860.
Big Tings a Gwaan Down Di Street, (April 2019) The Old Print Works, Birmingham, UK.
The Faded City, (March 2020) The Hive, New Standard Works, Birmingham, UK.
Published regularly on Tumblr available at Tracey Thorne