The photographers documenting the world’s urban goals
Framed by a painted goal, you stand helpless as an electric blue flyaway swoops into the top corner before rebounding into eternity. Recalling our childhoods, the urban goal is an emblem of simpler times. A familiar scene for youths across the world and a rite of passage up there with alcopops and heartbreak.
With a background in sculpture, South African photographer Neville Gabie’s photography project began in his native country in 1996, and now includes over 1000 photographs of goals from over forty countries.
'Belfast 01' by Neville Gabie
Gabie is among the artists Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat has brought back to help celebrate its 300th anniversary. The art centre's Public View show is currently hosting 100 artistic alumni including Jeremy Deller, Yoko Ono and Mark Leckey. Gabie exhibited his goals at the venue previously in 2002 as part of his 'Playing Away' exhibition.
'Posts 838' by Neville Gabie.
Talking about the project, Gabie said: "The photographs are deliberately simple, each image taken from just behind the penalty spot, with the goalpost centre-frame. Devoid of action, they are intended as quiet reflections of the ephemera left behind once the game has moved on. They are also deliberately photographed to place the viewer at the very centre of where it all happens – inside the penalty box with the whole goalmouth squarely in your sights: an objectivity through which every landscape can be observed equally dispassionately."
'20 Mersey Street Belfast' by Neville Gabie.
Closer to home, another photographer capturing today's street football culture is Liverpudlian snapper Michael Kirkham. Like Gabie's, Kirkham's engaging images tell a different story to the corporate dullness currently masquerading as the beautiful game. His images evoking both nostalgia and a comment on the distancing of football from the working classes in equal measure.
'Stockbridge Village, Liverpool' by Michael Kirkham.
Neville Gabie's 'Six Walls (from the series Playing Away) 2002-2010' exhibits at Bluecoat as part of Public View until 23 April 2017.
Michael Kirkham exhibits as part of the Look 17 Liverpool International Photography Festival Fringe. Visit here for more details.