David Gleave: Rescued Time at Manchester Central Library

David Gleave: Rescued Time
Manchester Central Library
12th January 2024 – 31st March 2024

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Rescued time

Manchester photographer David Gleave’s new exhibition at Central Library, Rescued Time, presents a decade of work that captures the present with a historian’s eye. Gleave was inspired by the work of nineteenth-century photographer Samuel Coulthurst, an early street photographer who captured scenes from Ancoats and Salford from a cart-mounted camera.

‘I gazed transfixed at these people, all long since passed but somehow still alive here 100 years later,’ explains Gleave. ‘So ten years ago, I felt it necessary to start making my own images, after having been interested in looking at other people’s photography, and to find my own people to keep “alive”.’

Old Trafford-born Gleave has an outstanding portfolio of work described as ‘sniper photography’. His striking black-and-white images are shot mainly on a Ricoh GR, much of which capture street life in Manchester and intimate close-ups of the city’s music scene.

‘I still find it remarkable that there is this little machine that can freeze time and preserve people in time forever, long after they’re gone. I see myself not as a photographer but as a historian with a camera. I am making photographs for tomorrow, imagining the present as the past.’

Rescued Time features 300 stand-alone images from Manchester and Gleave’s travels across the globe. ‘I refer to my photographs as rescued time or rescued moments. Fractions of seconds of history that, were it not for the camera, would have been lost forever and long forgotten.’ Like the exhibition of candid Coulthurst shots from a hundred years ago, Rescued Time captures a decade’s worth of moments and preserves them for us now and forever.

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