On gravestones, there are usually two dates: the year of birth and that of death. In between is a short dash - that person's life. It is this space that Rob Bremner's photography is concerned - creating a record for posterity of the people he meets - family, friends and strangers - on his own journey through life.
Rob was born in Wick, a small working-class town in the far north of Scotland. He left Wick to pursue his dream of becoming a photographer and, in 1983, left his hometown to enrol on a photography course at Wallasey College of Art, on the opposite bank of the River Mersey to Liverpool. There he met photographer Tom Wood and worked in his darkroom throughout his college years. Martin Parr, one of the most important photographers of his generation, lived nearby and Rob would spend Sundays following both Tom and Martin around down at heel seaside resort New Brighton taking photographs.
In 1985, Rob was accepted on David Hurn's famous documentary photography course at Gwent College of Higher Education in Newport, returning to Liverpool on the completion of the course to establish himself as a freelance photographer. It was during this time he took his black and white photographs of Liverpool's Pier Head.
Most of Rob's Liverpool photographs were taken around the Everton and Vauxhall areas of the city. The area housed some of Liverpool's oldest communities, the same families living there for generations. The people Rob photographed had a great pride in their city and most felt fortunate to live in their neighbourhood, even though the area was going through great change as tenements and tower blocks were demolished to make way for the semis with gardens that are there today.
Even though he was born in the North of Scotland, Rob’s background is not that dissimilar from the people he photographed and his work clearly shows his affinity with them.
Rob returned to Wick to look after his parents, who were both suffering from dementia and his ambitious project to photograph the people of Liverpool was temporarily halted.
In recent years, Rob has posted his images on Facebook and has reconnected with many of those he photographed thirty years earlier. Liverpudlians are rightly proud of their city and consider themselves fortunate to be born there. Today, many seem to be doing quite well if their posts on Facebook are anything to go by.
The Dash Between is Rob’s first book. It will be a limited edition hardback printed in both duotone and colour. Most of the images have only been seen on Facebook or other websites. His work is an important addition to the Bluecoat Press series on British social documentary photography.
Risks and challenges
There are none. Bluecoat Press has been publishing books since the 1980s and has earned a reputation for the quality of its photographic publications.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)