Peter Mitchell’s series follows the concept that “an alien has landed from Mars and is wandering around Leeds with a degree of surprise and puzzlement”
Featuring square format photography taken in Leeds during the 1970s, Mitchell’s pictures document his affection and care for the city where he has worked and lived for most of his life. After 38 years, the series has now been published.
The pictures show the traditional urban landscape presented on a background of space charts. Counting Martin Parr as a fan, he said “The full charm of Mitchell’s work is embodied in images of shops and factories with owners or work force standing proudly in front of their businesses. Quite why our alien visitors to Leeds never stayed, we’ll never know.”
“In the Earthly vernacular these photographs are of Nowheresville. Yet, for some people they are the centre of the universe. Usually they call it home.”
Despite the unconventional context in which Mitchell frames his photos, as if they were being viewed by aliens from Mars, they display a vision which only someone on the inside could capture.
The effect is transformative. Cinemas, local shops, fairground rides and terraced houses suddenly take on a new life. Their inhabitants are quietly confounding, their civic pride and sense of community turned into wry anthropological study.
Source – Strangely Familiar