A photographic exhibition which aims to record the redevelopment of the NR3 area of Norwich goes on display today.

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From piles of cement bags to a bricklayer carefully creating a brick-weave pathway, NR3: An Urban Photographic Exploration focuses on the Anglia Square shopping area which was first built in the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition, by photographer Chris Skipworth, shows some of the work carried out on the one-way traffic system created in 2010.

It is part of a five-year project, supported through funding from the Arts Council England, the Norfolk Arts and Events Service and the Norfolk Record Office, to capture the urban landscape of the NR3 area. In total there are 100 images, which have been made into a photobook.

Far from capturing the city’s beautiful and historical buildings, it focuses on the everyday scenes most people would walk by without a second’s thought.

Mr Skipworth said: “It’s about photographing the mundane things you might not bother with otherwise.

“With the cement bags, some people might think ‘why on earth would you want to photograph that?’, I think ‘why not?’ – I want to show that, in a still image, it can work; it can become something quite interesting.”

Susan Maddock, principal archivist at the Norfolk Record Office, said the contemporary photographic exhibition was a departure from the County Hall site’s usual programme.

She said: “The exhibition won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and it will startle some of our regular visitors, but I find Chris’s images beautiful and compelling. They are also documenting changes in part of our city landscape which otherwise would not be well recorded.

“My experience as an archivist shows me that people who record landscapes, whether single buildings before their demolition or whole areas under development – areas which others may not value highly at the time – win the gratitude of successive generations of historians and others.”

The exhibition may not contain the historical documents or images usually housed in the display cases, but it does have strong links to the record office’s own history.

From 1995 until 2003, the centre was based at Gildengate House in the NR3 area of the city.

And the project will also become part of the record office’s future as one of its archival holdings.

Mr Skipworth will be giving two talks at The Archive Centre on October 25 and November 29 and there is also a full programme of Norfolk Record Office talks to complement the NR3 exhibition.

The Long Gallery at The Archive Centre, next to County Hall, is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9.30am to 5pm on Tuesdays, and 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Admission is free.

For more information visit www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk or call 01603 222599.

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