Farewell Squalor

Sally-Ann Norman

Housing in the Durham Coalfield documented as part of Side Gallery’s Coalfield Stories series of commissions. The work was developed between 2001 and 2003.

Architectural photographer Norman’s first documentary commission, the exhibition explores the ribbons of terraces that crest the hills of West Durham; the social housing of the twenties and thirties; the high-minded post-war visions; the current wave of demolitions across East Durham: it is a monumental narrative of rapid, brutal and careless expansion, of communal growth and municipal strength, of abandonment, exhaustion and contraction. The title comes from the 1946 report that led to the founding of the Co Durham new town of Peterlee two years later.

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