If you look closely (you don’t have to look that closely, you just have to go beyond the immediate surface appearance), you can see what appears to be the reflection of bricks and tiles in the spaces between the cloth adorned mannequins that form the main subject of this photograph. I have no idea of how this reflection came to be captured and I attribute it vaguely to the mysteries of light. The tiles and the buildings must exist somewhere, but the picture was taken from the edge of the bus stop at the bottom of Staniforth Road, waiting for a 52 to Crookes. So, despite appearances, the photo can’t have been taken straight on, because if it had been, the bus shelter would have been visible. It must have been taken from an angle, looking from right to left, but this doesn’t explain why the bricks and tiles reside behind the fabric without there being the slightest trace of their reflection on top of what appears to be a line up of dresses. You would think that the photographer is looking past the cloth to a building behind them, but that’s not how things work on Staniforth Road in its real world manifestation. Maybe the photo has transcended the limitations of the physical world to reveal some apparently purposeless mystery in the form of a building where no building could be. A slit opens up, we travel through it, we arrive at another Staniforth Road, only to find that it is even more dull than the road that really exists, or existed.
These artfully arranged bolts of fabric displayed a fabulous range of colours, which were clearly depicted on the original image, but which were subsequently discarded because the use of colour is disdained in the unfolding of the SPG project. The shining of the original reds, greens and oranges clearly indicate that the photograph was taken in summer, but the black and white version does not encapsulate this seasonal coding. And that is how it should be, because the essence of the bottom of Staniforth Road exists outside of space and time.