Wolverhampton pictures show city from a different point of view
Miserable and uncultured? You must be joking! Stunning pictures of Wolverhampton like this one have been captured by a team of photographers to capture the beauty of our fair city and silence the sneering critics.
The city has unfairly been labelled the fifth worst on the planet in the past and the people the most miserable in the country – but Wolves Photofest has turned the lens on everything great about Wolverhampton – from tranquil shots of nature to pictures capturing the character of its people and urban landscapes. The exhibition at Newhampton Arts Centre was aimed at dispelling the negative myths about Wolverhampton.
A montage image from Penn Field's school, highlights Wolverhampton's natural beauty that sits alongside the city's contemporary and urban surroundings.
In addition to this, another image shows the more subdued side of the city is portrayed through the serene image of St Peter's Church, where the city's heritage lies at the heart of its infrastructure.
The city's cohesive community are pictured enjoying a night out , surrounded by the bright lights of the concert. This suggests the city's vibrant nature, alongside a more lively atmosphere.
An image by Dhru Vijan's shows a multicultural society which diminishes the idea of Wolverhampton being uncultured. It shows a bearded Sikh standing at Wolverhampton market place.
Another by Tom Hicks portrays the city's individualistic and unconventional structure, the picture shows a vehicle covered in grass, advertising MOTs. The vehicle also has a large cartoon figure on the roof that is holding the advertisement board. The bonnet of the car has a plush dog attached to it along with several bright flowers.
The image captured by a Wednesfield High school student, showing the gleaming headlights from vehicles pictured in the street scene, illustrate the ongoing night life of the city that begins to grow as the sun sets. This does not depict a miserable atmosphere, instead the image suggests a lively setting with a spirited mood as people begin to travel around the city as the sun sets.
Mark Birchill's image reveals the city's contemporary side, with a Formula 1 racing driver pictured in their vehicle. This image offers a wider perspective to initial views on the city's miserable atmosphere. The idea of Formula 1 racing incorporates a fast paced, energetic atmosphere, that opposes the previous conceptions of a despondent Wolverhampton.
Sarah Zacharek, who organised PhotoFest, said: "When I decided to study photography at Wolverhampton University, a lot of friends and family laughed at me.
"They saw Wolverhampton as being uncultured and miserable. Before I got here I was beginning to believe them, but when I arrived it wasn't the case.
"I found there to be a great culture of art in the city, great old buildings and my mind was changed."
The 31-year-old moved to the city from Shrewsbury in 2014. It was the same year Wolverhampton was voted as one of the worst places to live in the country, whilst Shrewsbury was voted as the best.
She added: "Yeah I was ridiculed again. But it's been a great place to be ever since. There's a great culture of everyone supporting each other."
She has since landed a job as a lecturer of photography and last year hosted the inaugural PhotoFest.
This year the three day festival was designed to celebrate the city with photos showing the city in a positive light and hundreds turned out to see the pictures.
There were also live performances ranging from solo harpists to hip hop collectives and a vintage games station.
Miss Zacharek added: "It was really good this year, better than I could have hoped for.
"We decided to have this cross over so some people came for the live music and others came for the exhibition, to break down barriers so it isn't just a certain type of person that goes to art exhibitions and it was beautiful to see people come together."