'to the Merrion centre, the most unusual shopping centre in the North!'
Shopping centres, once the shine has faded, are rarely celebrated. In fact the passage of time leaves these monuments to consumerism open to derision, scorn and the call for the demolition ball to swing. Often typified by flickering fluorescents , stained concrete, B-list brands and long static escalators - the modernist '60s builds are often the first in line for the chop, but sometimes you need to look with new eyes.
Adam Stone, Leeds-based painter, printmaker and lecturer in art & design, has those eyes. For several years he has been making a series of paintings of Leeds' Merrion Centre (1963). Taking inspiration from original archive photography of the building, Adam creates images that move beyond simple documentation by the use of layering, and superimposition that blur the surface of the canvas and the space between past and present. These paintings seem to exist in temporal flux, acting as memory triggers and psychogeographic place markers. They can stir things in the mind, make us remember things from our past, or create visions of what might have been.
Includes an introduction from Derek Horton, essays from Gary Barker and Aidan Winterburn, and an extract from an interview with Adam hinself.
The Merrion, 50 years old in 2023, sits at the heart of Leeds city centre - it was, and continues to be, more than simply a place to shop.