Meeting Tracey it is obvious that her ‘day’ job is not just a means of income and reluctant last minute jobs at a gig whose band she never heard of. She is a true music fan and it is a joy to witness a span of ten years worth of photographs of musical icons filling out vast arena tours or sweaty intimate dive bar gigs. The images get up close and personal with artists, the impressive profiles of which will have you playing a who’s who throughout the whole series, which spans both Galleries in The Whitecloth.
Tracey Welch’s images capture the mutual spirit that occurs between a performer and a music appreciator. A far cry from blurry iphone snaps however, Welch’s work channels her love of music and live performance through her proficiency in professional photography. Welch finds her thrills in the challenge of capturing the energy, dynamism and personality of the performance in her shots where these precise factors also pose challenges; capturing a fleeting moment, adapting shots to limited light and trying to pin down an energetic frontman all wrestle each other in a shot. One of my personal favourites from the series is a shot of Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream. The shot captures a lovely sense of calm amidst the festival madness. Gillespie is shot with tambourine poised, his eyes closed in a kind of spiritual moment, atmospheric stage smoke and rain mist swirling around him.
One of the earliest shots, way back when in 2006, harks back to one of the first Arctic Monkeys performances in their native Sheffield. Alex Turner looks young, awkward and almost unrecognisable from his more rockabilly cock-sure present self at a performance at the Magna Centre, like a sentimental relic of a past time.
The prints are laid out in poster style, nodding to the commercial element of the photography and the way that we idolise artists, pinning their images to our teenage bedroom walls with blu-tac. Of course, you might prefer to frame these images, which are available to buy individually or as a set. Just get in touch with Tracey at email@example.com or visit her site for more of her work. The show runs at The Whitecloth gallery until the 25th of July.