Job: Picturing High Streets Photographer Residencies - Suzanne St Clare: Chester, Composite Images

11 Aug 2023
Chester, Cheshire West And Chester
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In 2022-23 Historic England commissioned several photographers to work with local communities to capture images representative of their local high streets. This formed part of the Picturing High Streets project. In Chester, Suzanne St Clare was commissioned as photographer. She wrote the following text to describe her work on the project: “My response to the residency was to work creatively with business owners trading on the historical Rows in Chester.

Initially we started by finding out about how these business owners came to Chester, their community, challenges, the quirkiness of independent trading and their love and passion for this beautiful, historic city...." Three sets of images were created as a result of the residency. Suzanne St Clare wrote the following text about this set: "The final aspect of the project was to work with the traders and their customers in respect of what they would like to see for the future of the Rows. I spoke with both, and the shortlist of wishes included: ● the revival of greengrocers in the centre. ● reinstatement of antique shops.

● restoring missing flooring and flaking paint.

● adding effective signage.

● a ‘gated’ element to the Rows for good security at night.

● for those sleeping rough to be accommodated for.

Three key areas were photographed that highlighted the issues that the Rows continue to face. These areas were then removed in Photoshop with the above requests drawn in.

Three photographs accompanied by original drawings on fine art paper bring together the customers’ aspirations and traders’ visions for the Rows.” Since this commission, the Rows Capital Improvements project has enhanced more than 100 properties associated with the Rows to improve access and footfall as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zones Programme. This has included improvements to the lighting, paintwork, balustrading and stall boards, investment in marketing the Rows as well as tours and other activities, and the production of a Business Guide aimed at local traders.

'Picturing England's High Streets' commision by Open Eye Gallery, Historic England and Photoworks.


This is part of the Volume: HEC01/128/01/06 Picturing High Streets Photographer Residencies - Suzanne St Clare: Chester; within the Sub Series: HEC01/128/01 Picturing High Streets: Photographer Residencies; within the Series: HEC01/128 Picturing High Streets; within the Collection: HEC01 Historic England

This Job is divided into 3 Child Records
This Job contains the following materials:
Photograph (Digital): 3


© Cathryn Lowri Griffith

People & Organisations

Photographer: St Clare, Suzanne

Artist: Griffith, Cathryn Lowri