Bob McClelland was born in Blackley, Manchester
in 1944. On leaving Ardwick Technical High School in 1961 he
went on to pursue a career in Organic Chemistry, a subject in
which he had an interest of long-standing, and subsequently
spent many years involved with chemistry and computing in the
Research Department at ICI Blackley.
It was in his leisure time that he began
to become actively involved with visual art, and with photography
in particular. To be engaged in an artistic activity,
Bob maintains, is more properly to be viewed as a privilege
rather than as a given right.
The photographs which accompany this profile
were all taken within a few miles of where Bob once lived and
worked, and are intended to illustrate certain aspects of the
Manchester environment that are, in essence, nothing less than
Bob sees photography as being a medium which
facilitates the capturing of something that, at a particular
moment in time, had existence within the framework of what is
generally accepted to be the ‘real’ world.
Of course, part of the magic is intrinsically
bound up with the fact that the subjects which are photographed
were in actual fact found by the photographer, rather
than having been artificially arranged or constructed by him.
About photography in general he believes
that: ‘ No matter how beautiful, romantic, or aesthetically
pleasing an image may be, the essence of all valid photography
is finally conceptual in nature and documentary in effect’.
Bob McClelland’s work is to be found in a
variety of collections, both public and private, and he has
exhibited in a number of galleries and universities in the UK
and the USA.
In addition he has written several reviews
for the British Journal of Photography and Creative
Camera magazine and his work has been featured in the Penrose
Graphic Arts International Annual.