Oct 21 2011: Industrial Photographs by Marshalls of Nottingham (c.1960s)

When compiling material for the Lost City section on the Write Here at Nottingham Contemporary blog earlier this year, one of the advertisements uncovered was for a commercial and industrial photography business: Marshalls of Nottingham. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to find this folder containing two examples of their work, showing machines built for some unspecified purpose, at the Cattle Market last weekend. Each is stamped on the reverse with Marshalls’ address and telephone number, and features an archive reference, but the client is not noted.

 If one of these images is taken fairly straight (as though for a manufacturer’s catalogue) the other has something of Alexander Rodchenko‘s tendency towards machine aesthetics and dynamic composition. The top image here, with its abstract diagonals, glimpses of cogs and wires among the gleaming levers and pistons, also has a fragile air that constrasts nicely with the general feeling of industrial weight: in short, it’s a very good photograph, however far adrift from its unknown original purpose it now finds itself.


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