Photographer documents life on Sunderland allotments

No plot: Coun Robert Boswell (below) hits back in allotment row
No plot: Coun Robert Boswell (below) hits back in allotment row
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A GREEN-fingered photographer is documenting the life of allotments with a new exhibition.

John James Addison began shooting pictures of abandoned allotments in 2005, after taking his camera to a site one day and taking a photograph of a shed.

He said: “I think allotments have been documented in various ways, but from the research I’ve done, they didn’t focus directly on people.

“I wanted to look at the human traces left behind at allotments by their owners.”

John James, of Ashbrooke, began capturing images of sheds, caravans and the possessions they contained, such as clothing, at allotments in Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle, to develop his exhibition, called Hidden Traces.

And such was the 43-year-old’s enthusiasm for the pastime of owning an allotment, that he bought one himself. He added: “In my allotment there are still jeans hanging on the back of the door in the shed from the last owner, and a St Christopher left in there.

“Those are the sort of human traces I’ve captured.

“You sort of build a picture of the people who owned them from the things they have left behind.”

John James, who is also a music photographer, has collected the items found in the allotments and will display some of them alongside about 40 photographs at the exhibition in The Gallery at Gateshead Library, from February 14.

He said: “I also collected music which had been left behind in one of the allotments.

“There were tapes with music from the 60s like Roy Orbison and John Lennon.

“I’m hoping to play that at the exhibition.”

l Hidden Traces will be open until April 26. For detsails, call 433 8444.