Paul Frost Interview

Stoke City Victoria Ground

We briefly caught up with Paul before his current exhibition ends and managed to talk to him about photography and his exhibition – Brick by Brick.

116: How did you first become involved with photography?

Paul: Most of what i know is self taught and i became interested when i built my own darkroom. I found it to be a hobby and escape route. I was given an old rangefinder camera and then moved on to 35mm.

116: Is this the longest project you’ve undertaken in photograph so far?

Paul: Yes, it is my longest and first full-blown exhibition.

Stoke City FC

116: So, we probably don’t need to ask, but i’m guessing you are a Stoke City fan, was this a personal project?

Paul: I took the photographs as a labour of love, i had so many memories i wanted to document. My son sat on the wall at the boothen end, and i wanted to capture those memories. It’s been 17 years since the Victoria ground was demolished and i thought it was a good time to show it.

116: How did you capture the photographs?

Paul: All the photographs were taken on 35mm film and i’ve now scanned and transfered them to digital files.

Paul Frost photographer

116: There’s a mixture of black & white and colour in your exhibition, and i’ve also noticed some spot colour, why did you decide to include this process?

Paul: I thought the spot colour fitted with the theme, it was transfering from the old to the new and i hope it portrayed that with the colour.

116: What feedback or opinions are you hoping for from this exhibition?

Paul: It will be interesting to see the remarks, i have a book that visitors can leave their comments in.

Boothen End Stoke City

116: Do you have any future plans for future projects?

Paul: It was suggested that a book might be made. I would also like to show the Britannia ground and continue the transition.

Brick by Brick

Stoke City FC

A series of photographs by Paul Frost documenting Stoke City Football Club and the transition from the Victoria Ground to the Britannia Stadium following the closure of the Victoria Ground on 4th May 1997.

Exhibition – 17th – 31st January 2014.

Interview: Samantha Fairbanks

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Hi Samantha, thanks for taking part in our first ‘interview with photographers’ ongoing exhibition series at Gallery 116. We’d like to ask you a few questions and also introduce your work to those that aren’t familiar with it, or haven’t visited your exhibition yet.
Gallery 116:  Can you give a brief introduction and tell us how the idea behind your Protected project came to realisation?
Fairbanks: As I go to university outside of Stoke-on-Trent, I wanted to show the beauty of where I live through landscape images. Many people thought Stoke wasn’t beautiful, which merely made me more determined to show them that it is. I then chose to focus on the nature reserves of the city because both the council and the community keep these places beautiful and protect them for the people in the city, showing that not only are there landscapes within Stoke-on-Trent which are aesthetically pleasing and cared for.
Gallery 116: I see from your photographs you’ve used a black & white process for the images, why did you decide on black & white over colour?

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Fairbanks: Throughout my entire portfolio I have always preferred to work with black and white, therefore continued this here. I find that black and white images are more intriguing than colour because we don’t naturally see in black and white, in my opinion it causes us to look more closely which is what I wanted.
Gallery 116: Is landscape and environmnent something that will be a recurring theme in your work or will you be moving on to do something different for your next project?
Fairbanks: I will be continuing with landscapes into my next project, still focusing on Stoke-on-Trent although this time relating my work to the residents of the city and the fond memories they hold of the area. Although I would like to venture into still life work in the future.

Gallery 116 Stoke

Gallery 116: You’re currently studying photography, in your last year at university, is this your first solo exhibition outside of university settings and how easy / hard have you found it?
Fairbanks: Yes it is, I wouldn’t say I found it hard, but it was different from what I am used to. Usually I have one or two responsibilities, yet here I was responsible for everything, forcing me to improve my time management to make sure everything was ready in time.
Gallery 116: Whom or what are your current inspirations or heroes you look up to, inside or outside of the photography world?
Fairbanks: The environment itself is my inspiration.
Gallery 116: Why and when did you decide that photography was something that interested you, and you wanted to study it more?
Fairbanks: I realised photography was something I wanted to do when I was deciding which college to attend. I went to an open evening and got talking to the photography tutor. I liked both what I heard and saw so took the class along with a few other art based subjects. After completing my A levels photography was the one subject I thoroughly enjoyed so continued my education in the subject.

Samantha Fairbanks
Gallery 116: Is there an area or subject in photography you’d like to explore more, and if so what is it?
Fairbanks: At the moment I am interested in delving deeper into meanings of landscapes, as mentioned above I will be doing this by referencing personal stories and opinions which caused the creation of the image.
Gallery 116: Looking back on your current Protected project is there anything you’d do different or change if you could?
Fairbanks: Ideally I would like to have spent more time photographing each individual nature reserve. I chose to only show my photographs from four of the nine nature reserves because these areas were the ones I visited the most. In the future I may return to this project and complete every nature reserve in the city.
Gallery 116: Lastly, what would be you dream job in photography?
Fairbanks: Ideally I would like to work as a freelance photographer for as long as possible.

Gallery 116 Photography