- Secondary initially began as a way to focus on those who donate their time and energy effortlessly for a bigger cause but ended up becoming broader than that. After speaking with those who run charity shops in my local area, I found that they represented something much bigger than just volunteers and the shops themselves stood for something more than just the charity name above their doors.
By depending on the donations of the local public, charity shops are often seen as drop off places for belongings that no-one has any care for anymore. Now, during the recession, it would be assumed that charity shops would have an increased amount of business as society has less money, but the influx of Cash4Clothes organisations has proven detrimental to the shops. This does not just affect the shops and the employees; it has a great effect on the charities themselves as a large amount of money they run on is from the profit generated by charity shops. Initially I thought this work would be a good way to look at those who are often an afterthought when the subject of charity is brought up, then I realised that the goods that are donated are also afterthoughts to their previous owners, hence why they have ended up in these shops.
As someone who has grown up in a rural area all of my life, I wanted to incorporate this into the set of photos and chose smaller, locally run shops as my subjects. I found these to be extremely interesting as each shop has its own personality, much reflected by the staff, and ignore a high street aesthetic (like that preferred in city based locations) for an individual style. While this may not be picked up on by a casual observer, I feel like my photographs highlight the little parts of these spaces which are almost idiosyncratic.
I chose the title Secondary as I feel it aptly portrays my view on how other people see these shops; the goods they sell are second hand, the staff often underplay their importance and how greatly their contribution helps the charities, and recently the shops have begun to play second to the Cash4Clothes organisations when they are desperately in need of donations.
As part of my first Semester 'Independent Practice' module.
Photography, Digital Photography