Homes in Maindee
02/08/2016 | Finding Maindee, Arts, Maindee Voices, Community
As part of Finding Maindee we have been working with photographer, Jo Haycock to explore the relationships that people in Maindee have with their homes. As a documentary photographer, Jo uses her past experiences gained through projects she’s undertaken with organisations such as Newport Women's Aid. This knowledge has been key for her to act sensitively towards the people she’s been photographing, and show the relationships we each have with our homes.
So far Jo's work has focused on a couple who came from South America to Newport via Cardiff, a lady who is about to leave her family home of nearly five decades and the story of an estate agency that has been present on Chepstow Road since the 1960s.
All images (c) Jo Haycock
Documenting how homes are made from houses
The main focus of Jo's work is to follow Chepstow Road estate agent Leonard D Morgan. Having originally started in the business of insurance policies for sailors in Newport Docks, Leonard D Morgan established a trade in selling land and property.
Many decades on, the founder's son still runs the business from its base on Chepstow Road. Jo has been spending time with the company to gain a few insights into how Maindee and the east side of Newport have changed over the years.
Jo has also been introduced to personal stories as people have come forward through Maindee Library wanting to share how they’ve made their home here.
Jo's images capture stories such as the lady who is selling the family home after nearly five decades and is looking to downsize somewhere nearby. There are poignant moments of reflection as she remembers how she felt standing in the hall for the first time, and what pieces of furniture she might have to leave behind. When we asked Jo how she manages to get very personal insights from people she said:
“This is what I do. For me, it has to be about building a relationship with whoever I photograph before I lift the camera, and it’s important to take place in a place that inspires them.”
Some of the people and stories that Jo uncovers over the next few months may end up staying anonymous as not everyone is comfortable revealing themselves, but they still want to share their journey. This style of storytelling is no stranger to Jo, as some of the portraits she made for Newport Women's Aid were of hands, shoulders and of objects that connected them, instead of their faces - it was important not reveal their identity as a few of the women were still in abusive relationships at that time.
The objects in our homes, such as below, can have a deep-rooted connection to particular times in our lives.
Jo tells us that many of the stories she’s hearing are uplifting and even humorous at times. We look forward to sharing more over the rest of the summer and autumn.
You can get involved too
We have also created a map in Maindee Library where you can add your own photo and story. Here is a short film clip on Instagram which demonstrates just how easy it is!
You can also find the same short clip on our Maindee Library Facebook page
Jo Haycock website johaycockphotography.co.uk/
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