Graham Gaunt photography
The Sheffield Project, 1991 Mappin, Graves and Untitled Galleries, Sheffield

Regeneration 1991
The Sheffield Project at
The Untitled Gallery
re-named The Site Gallery

Regeneration 1991 is a serious-minded project which seeks to document the changes taking place over a three year period leading up to the World Student Games to be held there in 1991. The project includes commissioning 12 photographers mounting three exhibitions, the publication of a book and the initiation of an archive, all thanks to the initiative of Matthew Conduit, (former director of the Untitled Gallery)

The Sheffield Project in fact represents, to my knowledge, the second largest documentary photography project in the uk at present and though it is being done relatively speaking on a shoe-string compared with European standards, it is still a valuable and note worthy undertaking. It is comparable with the Valleys Project undertaken by Cardiff's Ffotogallery and England's side of the Channel Tunnel document. Only Newport's Continuing survey is larger in terms of duration and resources.

While such an exhibition can be demanding on the conscientious viewer, there is at least an attempt here if not to entertain then to mount a visually engaging set of images. This is undoubtedly the result of careful commissioning. Four photographers were commissioned for the first exhibition and they had a year in which to produce work which was shown during October and November.

Though the monetary value of the commissions differed, the space allocated to each photographer is about the same. The variety in the work including a selection by gallery members, that something is bound to appeal to almost any visitor. At a personal level I responded favourably to the roughly four-foot square black and white matt surfaced prints by Graham Gaunt, most of which I felt were successful evocations of mood and - the sense of place, of destruction and dereliction achieved through a sense of scale, tonality and 'surface'. Somehow the scale allowed me to breathe while viewing them. Such works represent the approach of feeling to the changes occurring in places and lives; a factor seemingly ignored in the com
puter printout of the regeneration equation.

Extract by William Bishop taken from Creative Camera 12/1989

Regeneration Shefield 1991 at the Untitled Gallery and below the Graves Gallery Sheffield

Thanks to the The Untitled Gallery Sheffield
Matthew Conduit & Andrew Stones for production