Imagine Hillfields exhibition
8th September 2015
Hillfields, Coventry is a place of constant change. Heavily bomb damaged during WWII, the inner-city community was rebuilt to house a steady flow of immigrant communities, and it remains one of the most international populations for an area of its size in Europe.
As part of the opening of Coventry’s new creative community Fargo Village, the Imagine Hillfields exhibition tells the story of the area through the eyes of five photographers – Richard Sadler, John Blakemore, Masterji, Jason Scott Tilley and Nick Stone. The images span nearly of century of life in the district and show the development of not just the community, but also the urban landscape. Hillfields, like most inner city areas, is a place that rarely stays still.
I was particularly struck by the work of Masterji, a portrait photographer who ran a studio in the area through the 1950s-70s. Masterji, originally from India, moved to the UK in 1951 and documented the newly-arrived Indian community as well as sports events, functions and weddings. His images, selected by his daughter Tarla Patel (my co-exhibitor in the Some Stories & CHAS shows), formed part of Masterji’s first public exhibition after 60 years behind the lens.
Images © Masterji, used with permission –