Just before Lockdown in March 2020, photojournalist Colin Moody released a book entitled The Great Bristol High Street, Glorious Gloucester Road. This presented a snapshot in time of our High Street – even more so as Covid19 forced the temporary closure of many shops and businesses. The project for the book recognises the personalities and services we rely on and which add to the layers of history already laid down with Gloucester Road as the Great Bristol High Street. Following a single first photo post on social media, dozens of people who run, or know people who run, indie businesses have came forward to tell Colin their stories.
Colin worked as an art department assistant and graphic designer before focusing on photography. Since moving to Bristol nine years ago he has been photographing the city and its people. His book, Stokes Croft and Montpelier was a bestseller this Christmas.
Working in collaboration with Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp the project seeks to create a living record of the independent businesses along this much loved high street. The shop keepers of Gloucester Road provide the backbone and heart of the community. Without their hard working commitment and dedication to keep their shops alive the high street would be taken over by chain stores, so losing its individual identity. Taking photographs of the traders at work remind us of the long hours and skills required to keep an independent business going. Colin uses humour and skill to capture these aspects.
Colin took a photograph of the toppling of the Colston statue, at the start of the worldwide campaign Black Lives Matters during the summer of 2020. The photo appeared at Room 212 for a few weeks when Colin invited members of the public to write their thoughts directly onto the printed canvas. The results will be featured in an exhibition.