Spillers’ Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill

I’m pleased to announce the release of my first photography book, Spillers’ Downfall — a self-published series of images documenting the demolition of Spillers Mill here in Newcastle upon Tyne.

“…a set of images that are both strangely beautiful and undeniably awesome.” — Rob Meddes, The Crack

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

I affectionately named this iconic building The White Cliffs of Byker after cycling past it for some eight years.

I’ve photographed it on so many occasions, building up a library of nearly five hundred images in the process.  Sadly, the last six months of 2011 became a record of its demolition.

Spillers’ Downfall forms a special selection of those photographs.

— A Selection of Photographs from Spillers’ Downfall

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 11 — ‘The White Cliffs of Byker’

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 29

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 41

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 69

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 75

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

Page 77 — “Insects pick over the carcass…”

Spillers’ Downfall is available to buy in both printed hardback and eBook formats.

UPDATE Spring 2013: A special Collectors’ Edition is now available. Read more…

OR

Click here to buy the printed hardback version for £39.99

Click here to buy the eBook version for £3.99

Spillers' Downfall: The Demolition of Spillers Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne by Jack Lowe

— Media Interest

Interest in this project is really gathering momentum…

  • On 17th February 2013, I was invited by Gem Andrews to ‘Culture Shock’ on NE1fm to discuss Spillers’ Downfall;
  • On 18th February, the Evening Chronicle published this article;
  • The March 2013 edition of The Crack contains a great piece by Rob Meddes (p.13);
  • Sky Tyne & Wear have already paid a visit to my studio and posted an article that you might also like to read…

https://twitter.com/skytyneandwear/status/269424487638917120

— Are You a Publisher?

This title is currently self-published.  If you are a publisher interested in working with me on this title, then please do contact me — I’m all ears!

A Perfect Sunday on the River Tyne

The River Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Six bridges over The River Tyne, Newcastle

A perfectly cold and crisp Sunday on the River Tyne in Newcastle.

I’ve now lived here for twelve years and remain constantly in awe of the beautiful views in around the city I now call home.

I thought you might like to see this photograph I posted on Instagram this afternoon, depicting six of the seven bridges that cross the river.

So, where’s the seventh bridge? I’m standing on it — the Millennium Bridge.

For those who like to know, this scene was captured on my iPhone 4S and processed using Snapseed.

London: A Painterly Portrait

London from Primrose Hill, Photography by Jack Lowe

A portrait of London at sunrise from Primrose Hill…

Imagine you are standing at sunrise on Primrose Hill, looking south across the vast cityscape of London.

Now rewind the clock to the turn of the Century: ‘Pre-Shard’ and ‘pre-Gherkin’, it’s hard to believe that the newest structure on the horizon was the London Eye (the Millennium Wheel).

Construction cranes can be seen in the distance, beavering away to build the new future that seems so normal today and, unusually, there’s not a single human in sight.

My peaceful, painterly portrait of London heralds the new Millennium — a slice of time from a skyline that will never look the same again…

London from Primrose Hill, Photography by Jack Lowe

Print Detail — The trees at the bottom of Primrose Hill, with the silhouette of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance…

London from Primrose Hill, Photography by Jack Lowe

Print Detail — The Snowdon Aviary of London Zoo nestles among the trees and the BT Tower in Fitzrovia makes its iconic statement on the skyline…

If you would like to own one of these beautiful prints — made, numbered, signed and embossed by me — you can buy it directly from my Cornerstone Collection.

London from Primrose Hill, Photography by Jack Lowe

Click the image to see the 12×8″ Archival Pigment Print in my Cornerstone Collection…

 

 

Postcards from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

I’ve been involved in a rather special journey over the last week or so — accompanying my friend Duncan Davis on his narrowboat, Pearl Barley, from Skipton to Leeds.

Defiantly imperial, Duncan briefed me ahead of our mission:

“The total distance is 28 miles, 7¾ furlongs and 28 locks. There are at least 32 moveable bridges of which 3 are usually left open and 20 small aqueducts or underbridges.”

The journey took five days, albeit at a leisurely pace. The time taken to travel home to Newcastle by train from Leeds? 90 minutes!

A longer blog post beckons once I have sifted through the hundreds of photographs I’ve made. In the meantime, I’d like to share my favourite Instagrams from the journey with you.

All made with my iPhone 4s and edited with Nik Software’s Snapseed, I view them as a kind of scrapbook for formulating my thoughts whilst also acting as modern day postcards, winging their way into the timelines of my followers…

Pearl Barley on the Leeds Liverpool Canal

The 57ft Pearl Barley

Morris 1000 Dashboard

Duncan had a surprise for me — we would drive from Frosterley to Skipton in his 1955 Morris 1000…

Pearl Barley narrowboat gearbox

Before we could go anywhere, the gearbox needed seeing to…

Captain Duncan Davis at the tiller of his heritage narrowboat, Pearl Barley

Captain Duncan Davis at the tiller of Pearl Barley

Pearl Barley on the Leeds Liverpool Canal

Standing on the roof of Pearl Barley as we pass through a leafy stretch of the Leeds Liverpool Canal…

Bingley Five Rise Staircase Lock

Entering the first lock at Bingley Five Rise…

Bingley Five Rise Staircase Lock Gates

Water gushes through the 4220kg gates at Bingley Five Rise…

Pearl Barley moored at Saltaire on the Leeds Liverpool Canal

The stoves keep us warm during a chilly, misty morning at Saltaire…

Duncan Davis at Fanny's Public House, Saltaire

Duncan Davis at Fanny’s Public House, Saltaire

My Own Perfect Landscape

I’ve been looking forward to writing about Cambois (pronounced Kammus) for a long time now — in particular, introducing you to the photograph featured in this post.

A small Northumbrian coastal village born from the mining industry in 1862, Cambois is a wild, bizarre location.

Like many before me, I initially journeyed there to see the wind turbines mounted on the breakwater, as well as those planted out to sea.

The turbines were impressive enough and made lovely photographs but you’ve seen one turbine and you’ve seen them all, right?

On turning round to drive back home, I was overwhelmed by the scene that unravelled before me as I saw the same location but, this time, from the other direction.

Cambois, Northumberland, UK, Photography by Jack Lowe

Cambois (pronounced ‘Kammus’)

Stepping out from the car, my memory tells me that I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief but, in all honesty, that probably didn’t happen.

The scene looked splendid but wasn’t quite right for the kind of photograph I would like to make.  Some secret sauce was required.

The necessary approach was obvious to me, a neat tip to all landscape photographers that has made the difference to so many of my landscapes…

What is that secret sauce?  A step-ladder!

In this instance, those extra few feet gave me the elevation required to distinguish the elements of this landscape that, as a fan of infrastructure, holds everything for me — community, industry, power, road, rail, sea and air.

So many fundamental facets of modern living all featuring in one photograph, my own perfect landscape.

An Historical Document

To me, this photograph now has an added dimension, as the scene cannot be captured in the same way again.

A few years ago, on a frosty December morning, I drove back to the area to witness and photograph the demolition of Blyth Power Station’s four famous chimneys.

It was a moving, spectacular event and one that made my photograph of Cambois a particularly special and unique record of the area; a true moment in time.

Demolition of Blyth Power Station, Northumberland, UK, Photography by Jack Lowe

The demolition of Blyth Power Station’s chimneys, the backdrop to my photograph.

The Print

Shot on 5×4 negative film, I still enjoy poring over the details of Cambois

High Resolution File Detail of Cambois, Photography by Jack Lowe

A hole in a roof with Blyth Power Station looming in the background…

High Resolution File Detail of Cambois, Photography by Jack Lowe

The tracks wind their way to the aluminium smelter further along the coast…

High Resolution File Detail of Cambois, Photography by Jack Lowe

To the left, a lone figure stands in the distance on the jetty (a detail I only noticed after scanning the film)…

High Resolution File Detail of Cambois, Photography by Jack Lowe

The heavy plates bolting the tracks to their respective sleepers…

Printed signed, numbered and embossed by me, this release measures 12×8″ on 20×16″ paper.

Visit my Northumberland Print Collection to buy this print directly from this site (despite appearances, a PayPal account is not required to complete transactions).

Recently remastered for availability on this site, I was delighted that print No.1 sold within moments.

Signed and numbered print of Cambois, Photography by Jack Lowe

Signed, numbered and embossed print of Cambois by Jack Lowe

A Final Aside…

Paul Kenny spotted this postcard of the Cambois miners’ banner for me, which I now often show beside my print as a nod to the heritage of this small mining community…

Framed Postcard of Cambois and Bates Miners' Banner

The Lake District and I

Back in June (remember, when it was really raining?) we went camping with a bunch of friends in Dodgson Wood, on the banks of Coniston Water.

This weekend, I finally made the time to go through the photographs and collect a few of them together.

I thought I’d share a handful with you here as I reminded myself that, on this trip, I became more enchanted by the Lakes (I’m one of those people who prefers Scotland).

For the first time in years, I took a stroll alone on the hills for a few hours where my senses were treated to some extraordinary scenes.

Some held beauty in their dankness (think Crow Crag of Withnail and I fame) whereas others were much more classical in their approach — especially when crepuscular rays bathed the landscape in warm, glowing pools of light…

Old Stone Farmhouse, Near Coniston Water, The Lake District

This scene puts me in mind of Crow Crag — ever seen ‘Withnail and I’…?

Peel Island, Coniston Water, Swallows and Amazons, The Lake District

Looking over Peel Island on Coniston Water, focal point of ‘Swallows and Amazons’…

Crepuscular Rays over Coniston Water in The Lake District

Crepuscular rays shine upon some of the locals…

Camping in the rain, Dodgson Wood, Coniston Water, The Lake District

Camping’s often not so good in torrential rain…

To clarify the earlier Withnail and I reference, take a moment to sit back and enjoy this trailer I unearthed from YouTube…

Apple Meets Analogue

Yesterday, I drove the sixty miles or so north to meet up with my friend and client, Paul Kenny — he needed a hand (moving from the dark side) to install his first Apple computer.

Living in the wilds of Northumberland, Paul’s worked for many years as a photographer, now comfortably bridging his analogue craft with that of the modern digital era.

We often while away a pleasant few hours together here and there — this post is simply a collection of photographs of scenes I’ve observed at Paul’s home.

I hope you enjoy them…

Paul Kenny's Studio

Paul with some work in progress…

Paul Kenny's Noticeboard

Studio notices and a pair of vintage Volvo hubcaps…

Printmakers' Letterpress Tray at Paul Kenny's Home

Printers’ letterpress tray with knickknacks…

Paul Kenny's scanner

Lift the hood on Paul Kenny’s scanner and you’re sure to find interesting things…

Paul Kenny's Studio

Discarded hand-made negatives and a Heineken barrel…

The Cheviot Hills

On the way to lunch — the Cheviot Hills, a pylon and a tree…

Paul Kenny's new iMac

Apple meets Analogue…

Paul Kenny's Studio

Now comfortably installed…

Moss the Lurcher

Moss

Cloudscape between Lowick and Fenwick, Northumberland

On my way home — a cloudscape between Lowick and Fenwick, Northumberland

Paul will need no introduction to regular visitors of Jack Lowe Studio.

If you’d like to learn more about his incredible cameraless photography, do pay a visit where you’ll find material aplenty.