View a selection of Mark's photos
Exhibition of fine art photography
Phase 2 Building, Tamar Science Park, Plymouth
Until 31 October 2008
With so much focus on the urban regeneration taking place in Plymouth, the areas being left behind can sometimes be forgotten.
However, this is where local photographer Mark Highton Ridley steps in.
Having been a Plymouth resident for over 35 years, and with his father being in the Merchant Navy, the livings and workings of the city have always been of interest to Mark.
Mark is constantly looking for new inspiration
His latest exhibition, entitled Urban Decay, Lost Spaces and Industrial Ugliness, captures views of Plymouth that some may find surprising.
His love of photography started in the dark room at Devonport High School, and although he pursued a career elsewhere, photography has always been a creative outlet close to his heart.
Once he had picked up his camera again, inspiration came directly from the city itself, as well as from other artists.
"A friend's daughter was working on her dissertation at Plymouth College of Art and Design, and she created quite a dark series of work based on the 'lost spaces' of Plymouth," Mark explained.
"This prompted me to start looking around at the city in a different way, and once I began to explore the idea I realised the huge potential of looking at the derelict side of where I live."
Mark's 'Pay The Ferryman' photo
Mark has so far just completed 'Stage 1' of his project. There are still other areas he feels need exploring, to capture images of the changing urban landscape which, unless preserved, will be lost forever.
His exhibition can be viewed as part of a social history as well.
"The back streets and the docks, this is where people have lived and worked through Plymouth's history. Once these have been razed and redeveloped, part of the our heritage will be gone.
"The pretty places and views will be recorded, but to many people this is the real Plymouth, and deserves to be remembered."
For those who know the city, the views are recognisable, but also strangely alien at the same time.
One of the photos of a derelict building
And for those not familiar with Plymouth, it gives an insight into a city that is constantly changing.
"I like secret spaces, lost spaces, which are in the middle of communities but which people just pass by and don't really notice.
"My aim is to show things as people may not see them, to give a different viewpoint."
The images undoubtedly fulfil Mark's aim to provoke and stimulate a response.
His fascination with the black and white genre, interest in perspective and strong lines in his photos, truly show Plymouth in a striking and arresting light.
Mark's work is based at Masa Fine Art Galllery, Royal William Yard and a slideshow of the Urban Decay, Lost Spaces and Industrial Ugliness project can be viewed on his website.
And an exhibition of Mark's fine art photography is at Tamar Science Park in Plymouth until 31 October 2008.