One of the best things about living where we did were all the back lanes in the area. We loved them as kids as they doubled as our playgrounds, our adventures, our climbing walls, our sports fields and our short cuts between streets. We got into so many scrapes in those back lanes that Health and Safety today would have slapped a big ‘No Entry’ sign on them and kept anyone from walking up them. Broken glass, spilt rubbish bags, rubble, dead animals and more were common sights down the old back lanes of my childhood.
That love of the back lanes has come back time and time again in my work, and whilst I’ve got a load of stories I could tell, that’s not where I’m going now. Instead I thought I would share some photos that I’m still really fond of, that I took as a part of my A level art or foundation in art and design course. Most of these were taken in the lane behind Princes Street circa 1990. I loved the textural nature of the walls, graffiti and gates down there, especially in the mornings when the sun hit it just right.
Armed with my camera I got up early on a couple of occasions to go down the lanes to capture the light and sights. I loved the primitive feel of the graffiti, the splashes of paint, the layers of decay and the sharp shadows created by the angle of the sun. A lot of people might just see some bog standard photos of back doors, with some questionable slogans and foul-language. Me, I see abstraction and visual intrigue.
These days I’m not sure if you can walk these back lanes any more. It’s been a while since I’ve walked them, and in recent years a number of areas have had their back lanes gated, so as only the residents are able to gain access to them. I understand why this has been done, but it’s quite a sad state of affairs, because as I said, these were once our playgrounds, sports fields, adventures, etc.
The following set of photos are some of the better ones from those shoots.
All photos copyright David W. J. Lloyd.