Watch the video interview with Chris Teasdale and Jan Williams from The Caravan Gallery on this website.
Chris: Hi my names Chris. I’m part of the Caravan Gallery, there’s two of us who run this little organisation.
Jan: I’m Jan Williams. I’m half of the Caravan Gallery, which is a gallery in a caravan.
We set the Caravan Gallery up in 2000 to take art to people and places that other galleries might not easily reach.
Chris: We take the Caravan all over the country, all over Europe and in fact its even been to Tokyo. We exhibit images from the places that we go to. The Caravan is our little motto and our trademark so it comes with us most of the time.
Our photographs tend to be the overlooked and the unseen. Things that people have to look a bit more carefully to find. We don’t tend to do monuments and tourist information images that other people can take basically. We try to find something that’s interesting, that’s unusual, that’s sometimes amusing but still manages to capture the sense of the place that we’re photographing.
Jan: I think our photos, we like the idea of being thought provoking and just getting people to look at things that they might not normally have noticed.
One of our favourite photos, it’s a picture we took in Maidstone in Kent, it’s a mural that said ‘What you see depends on where you stand’. I think that’s pretty true because you can look at things, a lot of people will look at the same thing in a different way.
So we try and ask questions with our images. We don’t necessarily know the answers. We’re interested in the idea of what is picturesque. Sometimes people will say to us ‘Why did you photograph that? It’s not very picturesque is it?’ We think there’s different ways of looking at that. Is it interesting?
I think very often people, we find, this is people everywhere, you become so familiar to your surroundings you might not really notice details any more. An example of that is a sign we saw on Edge Lane a few years ago by McDonalds. A sign saying ‘Total Fitness Health Club, left at McDonalds’. It just seemed to be a beautiful combination of things. It’s not one of those things, well it leapt out at us, it might not at normal people [laughs].
Chris: Well, for the Merseystyle exhibition we’ve tried to capture the whole area. It’s a photo essay of Merseyside in 45 images.
Jan: I was born in Birkenhead and my dad was born in Liverpool, I have family on both sides of the Mersey.
We’ve been photographing Liverpool and Wirral over the years and we’re just very interested in recording how the area’s evolving. Certain things will never be regenerated out of existence, like humour, in particular. There’s a very particular Scouse wit that we think is something that’s well worth celebrating.
Chris: Some places we go to, they’ve done the town centre and that’s that, all the shops are the same and everything’s the same. Liverpool’s always different and there’s always something new. So every time we come back we get a completely new set of images. We’ve got hundreds of thousands I think now.
Jan: There’s a very particular regional feel. Certain things could only be in Liverpool.
Chris: The Merseystyle exhibition in the Skylight gallery is a really interesting selection of images that you wouldn’t normally see in photography exhibitions. It’s our style, it’s Merseystyle and it’s well worth a visit.
Watch the video on this website.
Please note that the Merseystyle exhibition has now closed.