Suburb’s Up for it

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

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“IT’S always Ecclesall Road, isn’t it?” says Joshua Holt. “Or London Road, or the city centre or somewhere trendy like that.

“You see all these art projects and the person behind them always says that they’re capturing the real Sheffield or whatever. No you’re not. No one ever goes down to Upperthorpe and takes pictures there. That’s real Sheffield, that is.”

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

At just 23-years-old, Joshua – Upperthorpe born and bred – decided to right that wrong.

After training as a photographer, he has spent six months snapping the inner city suburb in all its unglamorous glory; capturing the streets, the high-rise flats, the parks and the sweet-looking rope-swing made by one particularly resourceful youngster.

Now the results have formed his first ever exhibition – and it’s taking place in, um, the city centre.

He is one of three snappers chosen by law firm DLA Piper to display work in the rather more rarefied air of the practice’s private offices on the fifth floor of Number One St Paul’s Place.

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

“The inspiration was to try and uncover a bit of Sheffield that is never seen by anyone but the people who live there, that essentially goes unnoticed,” says the former King Edward VII School pupil who grew up in Birkendale Road but has since moved to Wath Road, Nether Edge.

“I think it’s quite poignant how places can get over-looked, in terms of art but also in terms of redevelopment, and this was about trying to capture that and put it right in some small way.

“Upperthorpe is such an interesting place but it tends to feel like a bit of a void in the public conscience.”

It wasn’t easy.

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

Setting up a tripod in the middle of a suburb that isn’t used to being photographed can result in intrigued onlookers.

“At times it did feel like I was creating a bit of a spectacle,” says Joshua, who works part-time as a documentary photographer and part-time in The Rutland Arms, in Brown Street.

“Sometimes people seemed suspicious but mainly there was just a lot of interest.

“They seemed pleased to think Upperthorpe could be found interesting.”

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

Upperthorpe by Joshua Holt

View more of Joshua’s work at www.joshua-holt.com

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