“When returning from London to Ramsgate, I noticed so many places that were standing still in time,” she says. “Over the past year I have been taking photographs of all the abandoned shops I have seen. These photographs are portraits of nothingness, like time capsules, where everything around them is changing, representing how they are not letting go. While documenting these streets, I collected the memories of these shops from local residents and passers-by.
A book was made, looking at the histories that have been forgotten in these vacant and abandoned places, but also at their current situation.”
Blackmore also made a short film about the last remaining shops on King Street in Ramsgate, a beautifully shot document of a world entirely removed from the uniform gloss of the typical English high street. The Keepers of King Street contains a sensitivity and maturity that makes it surprising to discover that Blackmore only began making films after she arrived at LCC. “I always had an aspect of my work that was photography based, but it wasn’t until I started at LCC that I made my first film,” she says. “It was actually in the first week of the course that I made a documentary in the group project. That’s when I knew I wanted to make documentary films.”
Many of Blackmore’s projects so far have sprung from personal experience. As well as the Ramsgate shop series, she photographed her grandfather’s home, and also did a project about her neighbours. “After living in the same house for nearly two years, and having never met my neighbours, I anticipated what they would look like,” she says. “I decided to knock on my neighbours’ doors and ask to take their photographs, revealing the hidden community.” She then made a newspaper documenting the project.
After graduating, Blackmore helped curate an exhibition by graduates on the Interaction and Moving Image strand of the LCC course, held by the college in collaboration with Nexus Productions. Exhibited in a disused office building in Canary Wharf, the show provided an opportunity for the graduates to present their final year degree show in a new location, as well as space to show new works. Among the projects by Blackmore was a new series of portraits of people who work in the local area.
Blackmore is keen to continue exhibiting her photography and creating documentary films. With her combination of a great visual eye with a knack for teasing out a good story, her skills will no doubt prove appealing to those in the advertising and design industries too.
More of Blackmore’s work can be viewed at hannah-blackmore.com
Hannah is also the recipient of a CR bursary, supported by iStock. A new piece of Hannah’s work will debut on the CR blog in the coming weeks.