Open Bridges Photography

Open Bridges is creating and documenting fascinating sights and sounds only ever seen by bridge operators and shipping companies. Some of the photographic images are taken from open bridges and some from the movements within bridges as they’re being operated for river traffic.

Sutton Road Bridge 26.6.17
Sutton Road Bridge

Some of the photographs are more abstract. They’re inspired by famous 20th century fashion photographer Horst P Horst. Away from the “high glamour and sensual sophistication” of taking photographs for Vogue, Horst’s personal project was called Patterns in Nature. It was inspired by photographs of plants taken by Karl Blossfeldt. Horst likened the images to “art forms like wrought iron and Gothic architecture”. Horst took images of plants and shells and tessellated the prints to take them out of context to “examine them with such close attention that they become unfamiliar and revelatory”. This was linked to the New Objectivity movement in the 1920s and ‘30s, a philosophy associated with the “technical purity of ‘photographic seeing’ ”.  A sort of visual version of the ‘reduced listening’ technique used by John in his recordings of the bridge movements.

Click on an image in the gallery to see the full picture and captions and scroll along…

The gallery below documents part of the river journey from Sculcoates North. Click and scroll for the captions

Below are images from inside Sutton Road, Wilmington and Stoneferry bridges.

Open Bridges: The river journey and the bridges

Open Bridges – Hull City of Culture 2017 to be split in two: The River Hull runs directly through the centre of the city defining East and West Hull and the culture of the city. On September 22nd Open Bridges will signify the vital role bridges play in everyday life with a new musique concrète commission, a river journey and the mustering of historic vessels. For the first time in Hull’s history the city will be momentarily split in two, denying the freedom of movement east or west across the River Hull.

As the river journey ends the music begins

John Stead’s Open Bridges live premiere performance by will be diffused in octophonic sound featuring found sounds recorded from Hull bridges movements and operations. The programme includes rare performances of music concrete work by pioneers of electronic, electroacoustic and acousmatic music – Jean-Claude Risset’s “Elementa” and Francis Dhomont’s “Cycle du Son”.

Tickets for the music premiere on Friday 22nd September at Hull Stage@The Dock, Queen Street, Hull. HU1 1UU, doors 7.30 pm, £10 available from Hull Box Office.

Open Bridges is an independent Hull based project by Duffy-Howard Music in partnership with HCC Streetscene Services taking place during the City of Culture Freedom Season.

Project concept Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard

Photography © Richard Duffy-Howard