Here – A Larkin 25 Special Commission

‘Here’ is a photographic monograph based on the Larkin poem of the same name about Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Photographer Quentin Budworth has traveled throughout Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire to create a collection of images that draw their inspiration from Larkin’s poem. The monograph was comissioned by the Larkin 25 and was exhibited at Larkin’s Bar on Newland Avenue in Hull.


Traveling around taking the pictures for this exhibition in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire I was surprised at how much of the imagery used by Larkin in the poem remains unchanged – the clutter and frenetic energy of the city, the sense of loneliness and solitude that the rural landscapes of the East Riding evoke and the remarkable magic that happens when skies, seas and light meet on our beautiful East Coast.


I recommend that take a look at the poem ‘Here’ and then you to can share Larkin’s sense of place.


Quentin Budworth is a an award winning photographer and filmmaker who works on a commission basis. To contact him email or call on 07877434739


The exhibition has been comissioned by the Larkin 25.


Reflections on the poem:


The poem seems to evoke a sense of loneliness – Larkin takes the role of observer describing what he can see – Initially he seems to be observing landscape from the vantage point of a train to the west of the city – later as a pedestrian in town and finally as day tripper to the countryside east of the city. The poem seems to be written in mid to late summer – references to ripening corn and poppies give us this clue.




Larkin’s observations take the form of list of simple observable features and form the basis of the poem – I have sought to capture fragments of the imagery contained within the poem through the poem whilst trying to preserve the emotional tone of the work. I have used Larkin’s word to title the images – some times making a literal visual equivalent sometimes going for a more poetic interpretation.



The Process:


Using the poem as a reference and thinking in terms of locations I divided my shooting time into half days – half a day at the Humber bridge and to the west of the city including Broomfleet, Hessle, Barton and Cave. Half a day to the west of the city Aldbrough, Sunk  Island, Withernsea. One day in the city.


In some ways I had pre-visualised what I was going to shoot for example ‘ships up a street’ – I think the Arctic Corsair in the museums quarter is the only remaining example – unfenced existence – I knew I wanted a shot of the coast but with a slight twist that made direct reference to my interpretation of the meaning of the poem.


On location I set out to create images and make pictures that referenced, commented and interpreted Larkin’s poem rather than simply document or log the locations described in Larkin’s poem.


I captured the images digitally using a Canon 7d digital slr and a number of lenses notably an 18-50mm f2.8 and 10-20mm F3.5.


I post processed the images using Adobe Lightroom – the images are a combination of duo tones and color photographs – I selected the processing to enhance the emotional tone and meaning of the images.


One of the key images for me is the image of the bench – isolated abandoned – home to an observer not now present – hinting strongly at the presence of Larkin.


I captured the following elements from the poem – these I have used as the titles of the images.


‘Swerving east, from rich industrial shadows’‘A harsh named
‘Here domes and statues spires and cranes cluster’
‘The slave museum’
‘Flat faced trolleys’
‘Shining gull-marked mud’
‘Beyond mortgaged have built edges’
‘Pastoral of ships up streets’
‘Here is unfenced existence’
‘Past the poppies bluish neutral distance’

The ‘Larkin25 comissioned an additional 4 images for the ‘Waving Goodbye Event’ held at Fruit in December 2010.

To read the feature in the Feature in the hull daily mail