‘After the Flood’ Photographic Exhibition at Smith Art Gallery

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Over Heritage Open Days September 7 – 9 there will be a special photographic exhibition titled “After the Flood” by Mike Bentley, who has documented the demolition and rebuilding of Elland Bridge following the devastation of the Boxing Day Floods in 2015. A free local Heritage Trail leaflet is also available.

Mike Bentley, has been interested in photography since receiving his first camera from his grandad who was a Halifax chemist, and notably, the first in Halifax to stock film and offer a processing service to members of the public back in the 1930s.

Mike estimates that he visited the Elland site on over 100 occasions and took approximately 2500 photographs during the project. All of the images were taken from publicly accessible areas, and the selection displayed in Brighouse is presented in approximate chronological order to show the progression of the works and the subsequent re-opening of the new bridge and canal.

Mike said of the project:

Initially I visited the bridge in March 2016 out of interest to see what was going on. As the demolition of the old bridge progressed, its original structure was revealed and I became interested in how the bridge must have been built all those years ago without the use of modern excavators and cranes.  

“I became fascinated with the complexities of what goes into the building of a new bridge and it was then that I decided to record the rebuilding works through photography.”

Smith Art Gallery is a purpose built late Victorian Art Gallery opened in 1907 by Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise. One room is used for the permanent collection of Victorian paintings while the other hosts a splendid mix of exhibitions, including many by local and regional artists.