BBC News

Bus stop windows graffiti photos at London Art Biennale exhibition

Published
image copyrightStephen Calcutt
image captionStephen Calcutt said he had "always dabbled with getting something abstract" when he used a digital camera
A care worker has earned himself a place at an exhibition which shows off artwork from across the world - after taking photos of etched graffiti in bus stops.
Stephen Calcutt, 52, captured images while using public transport in Birmingham for work.
Now his photos will be on show at the London Art Biennale from 29 March.
He said: "Some people might love it, some might hate it. But it's unique."
image copyrightStephen Calcutt
image captionMr Calcutt said: "What people would normally want to see [in the background] is out of focus, so I work against it - I've focused on the graffiti"
Armed with his Sony A600 camera, the amateur photographer was inspired while waiting for a bus in the city about six months ago, looking through a scratched acrylic window.
"I was actually annoyed because it was ruining the view," Mr Calcutt, from Solihull, said.
But he snapped away anyway, and when he loaded his images on to a computer at home, he saw they had potential.
image copyrightStephen Calcutt
image captionMr Calcutt says he wants to start targeting bus stops near city landmarks
"Once I enhanced the colours, and played around with the shadow and contrast, they looked a bit like abstract paintings," Mr Calcutt said.
He entered some images to online gallery World Street Photography, and also contacted other galleries about his work, landing a spot in the annual exhibition of contemporary art in Chelsea, London.
Mr Calcutt travels around Birmingham for his job as a domiciliary care worker, and finds the richest spots for his photography in some of the busiest and noisiest urban areas.
image copyrightStephen Calcutt
image captionMr Calcutt travels around Birmingham for his job as a domiciliary care worker
One of his favourites is the Maypole area of the city on the number 50 bus route.
"I just take pictures of what I see. Maybe one day there will be an altercation and I'll capture that," he said.
image copyrightStephen Calcutt
image captionMr Calcutt has contacted a number of galleries about his work
Mr Calcutt knows his work might not be to everyone's tastes.
He said: "I look at some abstract art and I think, 'what is this'? These pictures have the same effect.
"The graffiti is blocking the view. It's vandalism. But I'm making something positive out of something I don't agree with."
image copyrightStephen Calcutt
image captionTwo of Mr Calcutt's photos will feature at the exhibition until 2 April

Related Topics

  • Art
  • Birmingham
  • City of London
  • Chelsea