Sunderland’s ‘forgotten’ streets and hidden corners in focus for new exhibition

Scott Read's images of Sunderland in These Streets of Ours
Scott Read's images of Sunderland in These Streets of Ours
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Sunderland’s ‘forgotten’ city centre back lanes take the limelight for a new exhibition opening this week.

These Streets of Ours showcases urban Wearside locations as seen through the lens of Scott Read.

New to the area, he took his camera with him on walkabouts through Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham and the surrounding areas, with the resulting exhibition opening at Arts Centre Washington on Saturday.

Scott, who lives in County Durham, said: “I was new to the area a couple of years ago and it was through photography and walking about with my camera that I got to learn about local areas and cities.

“I became fascinated about the areas behind the facades of the city, hidden places like back lanes that are often forgotten about. You hear a lot about new developments and areas, but nothing about these back streets and other hidden areas. The photos capture the changes with old and new juxtaposed, and the people that inhabit those spaces.”

He added: “With Sunderland applying for City of Culture there’s been a definite shift in interest and it’s great to see how these changes will develop, but there are still areas, such as old 1970s architecture, which is overlooked. Sunderland is certainly different to Newcastle and Durham, but it has its own beauty.

“What I find interesting is that as these streets and arcades are flattened and developed that if they’re not recorded and photographed they would be lost forever.”

These Streets of Ours was a year in the making and is the second exhibition Scott has hosted at the Fatfield venue, the first of which focused on landscape scenes.

Plans are also afoot for a third exhibition next year.

Scott said: “When I moved to the area I had to start at ground zero, but I built up a good relationship with Arts Centre Washington after displaying my work there last year so it was great to be asked to return.

“I’m already planning what I can do for 2019.”

•These Streets of Ours is running at Arts Centre Washington from January 19 until February 10.