As part of the showcase of exhibitions at the culmination of the BA(Hons) Photography at the university of Portsmouth. The show ran for four weeks across May to June 2012.
Secret Dockyard was a photographic project during 2011 to 2012 documenting the conservation areas of Boathouse No4 in the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth. A historical structure in its own right, Boathouse No4 was a key part in preparations for D-Day and other aspects of World War Two.
The aim of the project was to show these otherwise unseen areas so they could be accessible to the public through photography. The photographs themselves serve as a preservation of the areas, documenting them for generations to come. The series was shot using large format 10×8″ black and white film and a series of fibre based contact prints which were treated using selenium. The process of the fibre based prints and the selenium helps to preserve the photographs for as long as possible.
Through exhibition, Secret Dockyard was presented in cabinets with a glass lid. The cabinet serving as the walls of the museum with the artifacts inside. A large print of an overview of Boathouse No4 featured above the cabinets as the facade to a museum does from the street it is on.
Along the themes of memory and preservation of history, this set of images are of the Air Training Corps squadron local to me in Portsmouth.
1189 Squadron was a very large part of my life for over 5 years where I was an Air Cadet. I hold my time there responsible for many of the attributes I carry with me today as an adult and feel they made me the man I am today.
These aspects included; self respect, time management, confidence, abilities to handle pressure and presentation abilities. This is amongst very simple things such as how to iron a shirt or a pair of trousers or how to polish a pair of shoes to the point of seeing your face.
I recently learned that, in early 2016, the unit will be leaving the building they’ve occupied for over 15 years. While this is sad for what the building stands for I am relieved that they get to continue doing the great work they do with many more generations.
To the unaware a lot of the images won’t mean anything at all but to those who have passed through here over the years they mean everything. Whether it’s something as simple as the kitchen sink where I remember spending many a shift as ‘duty cadet’ washing up or the band store with instruments that have been used by literally multiple generations.
1189 Squadron lives on and are recruiting all the time for cadets and staff so please do find out more or simply ask for more information.