Music memories inspire new exhibition at Sunderland’s Pop Recs store

Ella Barnes alongside some of her exhibited photographs at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street.

Ella Barnes alongside some of her exhibited photographs at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street.

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MEMORIES of music have inspired a new exhibition at a city art gallery.

Ella Barnes is used to serving customers at Pop Recs, in Fawcett Street, but now her photography display is adorning the walls.

Ella Barnes Music Boxes

Ella Barnes Music Boxes

Seeing people’s passion for their records led to the 17-year-old creating Music Boxes.

The collection of more than 20 images sees Pop Recs regulars with records that hold a special meaning for them.

It’s the first time the Sunderland College photography student has had her work displayed on such a scale.

“Working in the shop for the past 18 months has made me realise how important people’s records are to them,” said Ella, from High Barnes.

“We were asked to come up with a project at college, so I asked to photograph friends of the shop or people I’ve met through working there.

“Working there has sparked my own interest in music. The guys here bought me a record player and I’ve started collecting music myself because of it.”

She added: “There’s all sorts of reasons why music is important to people, why it holds memories.

“It’s been touching to hear their tales.

“One guy said he’d heard a song on a night out which he loved. It took him ages to find it. Now, whenever it features on an album, he buys that record as a way of introducing him to other music.”

When Ella told Frankie & the Heartstrings, the band who founded Pop Recs, about her project they asked her to display it at the shop. As well as being a record store and gig space, which will host The Vaccines on Saturday, the city centre shop is a gallery space where local artists can display their work.