As I’ve lived in Sheffield all my life the brutalist structure of Park Hill has been what you see when you look out of the city with it’s yellowing concrete facade and chunky blocks fading into the hillside behind the train station. When I first took an interest in photography I went through the ‘urban environment’ phase and my Dad would take me up to the flats to gather images of cracked walls, graphic compositions and that all-too-familiar ‘gentlemen’ lettering on blue tiles.
As a photographer I’ve become even more familiar with Park Hill in the last few years; it’s been used as a backdrop for so many points in popular culture such as The Arctic Monkey’s ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ video, it inspired ‘The I Love You Bridge’ lyrics by The Crookes and of course held photoshoot after photoshoot - including a few of my own.
Now when you look across to the East from the city centre it appears as though it’s on fire - a colourful gradient from red to yellow rises from the ground, punctuated by a stunning spiral of shiny polished steel and if you get a little closer the graffiti is brought to life in neon lights. I shoot primarily on location, and as soon as I saw the bare concrete walls and natural textures that sit next to them I knew I’d have to take advantage. Max at Ideology (Devonshire Street) wanted something simple & strong with a subtle link to Sheffield in there - we knew we’d be using creatives that are based here & we wanted to push that a little further.
Altogether we photographed 24 looks (that’s a lot in one day!) using an empty show flat as our main backdrop and used entirely natural light. The light in a room is the first thing I look for/notice because I think it makes so much difference to how you experience a place - obviously in a living space the more natural light you have the better and Park Hill is full of it. Inside you feel a sense of rawness and that you’re a part of something bigger, but with a comfortability that allows a sense of ownership & means you can make your mark too.
The view is quite possibly the best bit; you look over the best city in the world with a whole load of sky above it and pick out the other key Sheffield landmarks and feel absolutely at home.