Photo of the month: Oxford Road bookseller by Dawn Yow

Susie Stubbs

In our new series, we feature new work by some of the North’s most interesting photographers and photo bloggers. First up: Dawn Yow.

“I came across a bookseller along Oxford Road while I was looking for the Hot Bed Press’ Radical Pop-up Print Shop,” says Dawn Yow, a Liverpool-based photographer originally from Toronto. “I gravitate towards book sales like a moth to light. While browsing, I noticed a postcard – with a very serious, almost angry picture of Fyodor Dostoyevsky on the front – on the table among the books. Maybe someone had used it as a bookmark? Maybe a customer had left it behind? Maybe it was the bookseller’s? Who knows?”

It’s a diary in an unconventional sense, a 21st century sense

Yow may be the ultimate creative tourist. She relocated to Liverpool with her partner and young daughter almost a year ago and has been documenting her travels ever since – including a recent trip to Manchester, when this photo was taken. “My photography is generally documentary, a visual diary of my everyday life.” Yow’s style focuses on the sorts of small, seemingly insignificant detail that others overlook. “I’m also very much into street photography, as I love noticing and photographing the idiosyncrasies of people in public.”

The birth of a daughter five years ago forced Yow to take a different tack – “it’s a challenge to remain inconspicuous with a kid who loves running and jumping about,” she says – and start documenting her young family. But adaptation is nothing new to Yow, whose background is in evolutionary psychology and anthropology. She only became interested in photography in her final year at university and, ten years on, remains largely self-taught. “I started with a little point-and-shoot camera and about a year later progressed into shooting with film on an SLR. I still shoot with film and prefer the grainy aesthetic of film to digital.”

Life is about to take another turn, however, as Yow recently started creating embroidered country maps and handmade envelopes, which she sells alongside her photography. “And I’d like to expand into other ‘analogue arts’, such as screen printing and letterpress too,” she says. Her photo blog, meanwhile, is likely to stay. It started out as a means of keeping in touch with her family but “quickly progressed into a way to remember events, thoughts and emotions. I treat my blog the way one would treat a handwritten diary, but it’s a diary in a slightly unconventional sense – a 21st century sense, perhaps.”

Culture Guides

Cinema

Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics

Exhibitions

Let’s make the most of early summer, with this month’s selection of brand new art exhibitions from across the North!

Geronimo Festival 2022

Families

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Poet Caroline Bird

Literature

There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.

Music

From rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

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Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.