Mark Neville, Woodland Hills High School Prom no. 3. Courtesy of the artist & Alan Cristea Gallery.
Mark Neville, Woodland Hills High School Prom no. 3. Courtesy of the artist & Alan Cristea Gallery.

Silver Eye Center for Photography

Through September 12
Various times

Stark contrasts between British and American society—as well as deep disparities between two local towns—are brought to the surface in a new exhibition opening this weekend at Silver Eye Center for Photography.

Mark Neville, My neighbour Joe with our view of the Edgar Thomson Steel Mill, 2012. Courtesy of the artist & Midge Palley.

In his first solo exhibition in western Pennsylvania, London-based photographer and filmmaker Mark Neville presents 12 works from two ambitious projects—both created in 2012. Presented side-by-side, Here is London and Braddock/Sewickley amplify social disparities in these distinct places while also revealing universal human characteristics that are found in all three settings—regardless of economic circumstance, cultural factors or geographic location.

On view through September 12, London/Pittsburgh features both C-type and silver gelatin prints, with some works as large as 127 x 154 centimeters. Via Neville’s observant lens, viewers will confront uncomfortable realities about the many imbalances that still exist in both the US and England.

In his project, Braddock/Sewickley, Neville explores issues of the division of wealth and racial segregation. The Pittsburgh-based images juxtapose scenes of flashy high school proms with a portrait of a solitary man standing in front of North Braddock’s Edgar Thomson Steel Works. Though the two towns once both thrived during the region’s prosperous steel heyday, Neville focuses on the economic and social forces that have since divided Sewickley and Braddock—revealing not only a racial divide but also a profound differences in terms of quality of life.

In addition to exploring the racial divide that exists in the Pittsburgh region, Neville’s work also includes images of the cosmopolitan London that document class, wealth and economics—ultimately showing that little has changed in the UK over the past 40 years. Images of traders at the London Metal Exchange and dancing crowds at the society nightclub Boujis in London’s posh South Kensington neighborhood are shown alongside photographs of the Occupy London activist group and everyday life at community centers in Tottenham.

Check back with Silver Eye’s website for additional programming to be announced in conjunction with London/Pittsburgh.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...