Mark Neville’s show at The Photographer’s Gallery documents the Northamptonshire town of Corby. Neville follows the fortunes of the Corby 16 – a group seeking compensation from the local council after negligent disposal of waste from the town’s steel mills which closed in the 1980’s. The photographs were published as a book, with accompanying scientific documentation and a written summary of the case. The book was not available to buy but 433 copies were sent to every local authority in the UK in an attempt to increase awareness of the case and wider issues concerning the disposal of industrial waste. A free poster summarising the project is available at the show.
The photographs feature a broad cross-section of the community of Corby to create a clearer context for the families whose children were born with disabilities. Nightclubs, Dance Halls, Supermarkets, Beauty Queens at Bowling Alleys, BMX bikers are all represented. The English town is home to an established Scottish community which is celebrated with highland games. The images describe a town which has experienced economic highs and lows and continues to face the challenges of regeneration. ‘Deeds Not Words’ is the motto of Corby Town Council.