Beesley has had his photographs published and exhibited for almost
30 years and during that time his subjects have varied from local
mills to portraits of war veterans who fought in Burma during the
Second World War.
spent with both Bradford City FC and the Bulls Rugby League Club
has resulted not only in books and exhibitions but in calendars
which have brought his images into many a West Yorkshire home.
image captured at hebden Bridge Trades Club was "just a
Ian lives in Saddleworth but as far as he is concerned this is the
West Riding, not Lancashire.
his new exhibition at the Piece Hall he has visited clubs from Brighouse,
Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden capturing a range of styles.
explains: "We did the Tube, we did the Ritz at Brighouse, one
in Todmorden called Out In The Sticks and then the Trades Club in
Hebden Bridge and they were all different. There was reggae, drum
and bass, garage, mainstream."
the Coliseum in Halifax is mainstream Hebden Bridge Trades Club
is much more laid back. The Ritz in Brighouse is noted for its Northern
Soul nights and Ian believes the music is now attracting a younger
Beesley with his Leica camera
says: "The thing about nightclubs is they are quite difficult
places to photograph in because they're always very noisy so it
is often difficult to speak to people, and the vast majority of
people are under the influence of some sort of illegal refreshments,
shall we say, so what I did was to capture more movement and atmosphere...
There's an element of luck in it."
Hebden Bridge Ian came across a man with his feet in the air: "There's
an element of luck in it. I was watching him do it and I thought
there's going to be a picture there, but it happened so quickly
and it was quite dark. It's just one of the happy accidents that
have been bringing their tattoos to the Piece Hall to get them
career as a photographer started while he was a student at Bradford
College but over the years he has had some other jobs, notably in
the film industry where he worked as a focus puller and locations
manager, working on such projects as Monty Python's Meaning of Life,
Brazil and Ascendancy.
Art of Clubbing was five years in the making. It started when Ian
was involved in a TV programme about nightclub culture in Leeds
for which he did portraits of bouncers and club owners as well as
an impressionistic sequence in a club. Karen Belshaw, curator at
Calderdale Art Galleries, thought this could be developed into an
exhibition and commissioned Ian.
current exhibition has also provided the starting point for Ian's
next project. People have been invited to workshops at the Piece
Hall to have their tattoos photographed by Ian and these images
are also on show. With 16 books behind him already Ian Beesley is
looking forward to the culmination of his look at the art of tattooing
in a book and an exhibition in about eighteen months time.
exhibition runs at the Piece Hall Art Gallery until November 16th