This was a great project by Preston artist Susan Walsh, who created a performance piece highlighting the plight of homeless and displaced people, using a wonderful old hand cart that she had lovingly restored. Filled with all of the items she would take if she had to leave home in a hurry, the cart was pulled through the streets of Preston, from Avenham Park to Oxheys Mill Studios, by local artists with a group of well wishers following its progress through the city.
The weather was dreadful. I think the last time I got that wet was when I was shooting non-league football! We were all absolutely soaked through to the skin and I spent much of the time trying to keep rain off the lens but my job was to document the cart as it moved through the city as the first stage of the project and to capture the spirit of the occasion and the people participating. In that respect, the bad weather helped as the resulting images looked much more authentic.
It was great fun and when we arrived at Oxheys, a welcoming party had beer and biscuits ready for us as the cart was wheeled in and parked up in the loading bay to dry out.
The next stage of the project involved the artist making the cart into an artwork and collecting lists from each of the visitors, who were asked to list all of the things they would take if they had to leave in a hurry. These then became part of the resulting exhibition along with a showreel and a series of framed prints selected from the images I’d taken during the journey.
The project dealt with the issues of homelessness and poverty. It was so successful it subsequently was commissioned as a bigger project in Durham, by Projects Galore and I was again commissioned to document it.