Circus Street Market Brighton celebrated in new exhibition

An exhibition of still and moving images will celebrate the history of the Circus Street Market, on Fri 13 – Sat 28 Nov, at Onca Gallery. The exhibition – ‘Hawkers Pick Over Fruit Here’ – is part of CINECITY 2015, Brighton’s annual film festival, showcasing international film.

Commissioned by Brighton-based dance development organisation South East Dance, ‘Hawkers Pick Over Fruit Here’ is a collaboration between photographer Zoe Manders and filmmakers, straybird. “I loved interviewing the men who have worked in different ways at the old market site,” said straybird filmmaker Becky Edmunds, “Whether as market traders, porters and barrow boys, or as graffiti artists or past control, everyone we spoke to had a unique relationship to the extraordinary space that was Circus Street Market.” The exhibition explores the generations of Brighton-based families whose lives centred on Circus Street Market in decades gone by.

The exhibition will allow visitors to explore the images, sounds and stories of the Circus Street Fruit and Vegetable Market, which was a thriving workplace for many Brighton families. As the market hall is being demolished, this exhibition of still and moving imagery is a celebration of a way of life that will soon be lost. “With such a fascinating history, I knew it would be short-sighted not to look back over the colourful past of the Market, and also celebrate it in all its current derelict glory,” said Zoe Manders. “Circus Street Market has that effect on people – it inspires a potent mixture of both nostalgia and awe.” The work nods to the past, acknowledges the present and looks to the future to remember the history of the site where South East Dance will soon build The Dance Space – a new home for dance in Brighton and Hove.

Circus Street by Zoe Manders

The Dance Space is part of the Circus Street Market development, a mixed-use regeneration project by developers Cathedral Group PLC and partners Brighton & Hove City Council, University of Brighton and South East Dance. “We are delighted to present and commission the ever-inventive straybird and Zoe Manders,” said Cath James, programme director at South East Dance. “When Zoe and Lauren Proto first proposed capturing some of the history of the old market I did think then how vivid the first-person recollection of the Circus Street Market traders could be. Once the concept was passed through the creative imaginations of both straybird and Zoe, the outcome is of course surprising. Do come and see it.”

‘Hawkers Pick Over Fruit Here’ comes to Onca Gallery, on Fri 13 – Sat 28 Nov 2015, as part of CINECITY 2015 film festival.

Images by Zoe Manders

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