Nottingham – An Architectural Showcase by Lamar Francois
Photographer Lamar Francois speaks to NDSA on his recent exhibition
I’ve been fortunate to have been making images for the last decade as a photographer , starting out a decade ago while studying for a Maths and Physics undergraduate degree at the University of Nottingham.
At the time the medium proved a invaluable cathartic release in helping me manage anxiety and also navigate the world being on the autism spectrum.
More recently I’ve developed my work into a professional practice , where I help clients to showcase what they do by making images which show off their design features , with the help of The Princes’ Trust.
My favourite photographic subject is exploring the urban landscape – particularly watching what happens when dusk and nightfall sets in – where natural sunlight fades and is replaced by lighting – and it is fascinating to compare the effects of natural and artificial lighting schemes on the urban environment , and how people respond and interact with the spaces.
For me photography is both an art and a science and I enjoy both facets of the medium – with the built environment I enjoy exploring geometric forms in the lines as well as seeing how light works in a practical sense , as designed to promote certain features in the built environment .
For the Urban Room, I wanted to present a snapshot of the variety of styles and design languages of architectural projects that can be found within Nottingham
Exhibited was a range from the more classic work of TC Hine and Cecil Howitt to work by contemporary practices such as Lewis & Hickey and CPMG . The images were taken during late December – which also meant that I was able to showcase how some buildings would look under night lights – leading to some fascinating results.
My experience of exhibiting with the Urban Room at 38 Carrington Street was a very positive one
I chose the venue as I was keen on showcasing the images to those within the Built Environment industry , with many RIBA CPD meetings and conferences hosted within it. The space itself was a good size well as being a welcoming place – and the short shelves which were installed vastly simplified the display of the work as no framing was needed , as well as facilities for snacks for guests – which was also very helpful.
The images which I’ve showcased have been very well received by those who have seen it during my open Evenings , with lots of positive feedback , and media interest.
I’ve been asked to give some further talks on my urban landscape documents with Nottingham Speakers Club in June.
I’ve also been able to license some images which I made of the Lenton Gardens project to JTP Placemaking , in addition to the one I displayed for them to use in their practice case studies and marketing materials.
I’m looking forward to exploring more of the world around me and doing work in different cities - as well as developing my practice with the Built Environment – in particular I aim to be able to visit London’s Open House in September this year.
I’m aiming to launch a book documenting my take on Nottingham , including looking at the urban landscape as well as many street scenes later this year.