Artist Research | Danyelle Farrell (ROLLA)

At this stage in the module I feel that I am now able to begin to make effective comment and contextualise my own work in relation to other photographers in exploring their motivations and intentions to further personal development of my own project.

As a result of my research, the work of Danyelle Farrell (Rolla Gallery) became of interest. The project ‘Touchline’ I felt was particularly similar to my own work. This was a type of relief and served as a type of justification of my non league football project and the ethos of making football only the supporting act. in a sense I was happy that i’m not alone in challenging this subject.

Figure 1: Roller Gallery. Project: Grassroots

The image above is one of a range of photographs that resonated when contextualising my own project. The image depicts a programme seller in a weathered booth painted in the team colours which I believe to be Boston United.

The sign which states ‘Programmes’ serve to provide anchorage to the image. The candid nature of the photograph captures the subject engaged in some type of activity, what that is? The viewer will never know. We can only raise further questions and pontificate as to what he may have been doing.

As viewers, we are able to see elements such as the subjects hair, choice of clothing and look of concentration on his face. The prominent feature of the subjects eyebrows serve as a point of interest as does his hair. Maybe he is overdue a trip to the barbers?

The colour scheme of the team Boston United which is reflected in the aesthetics of the booth personally, confirms an existing anxiety about the specific colours Black and Yellow. Although I have never visited Boston, I have watched them play several times and recognise the anxiety I felt watching them play against my team.

As a result of my experience of Boston United Football Club, I have previously made subjective judgements about the place itself which are definitely unfair. Therefore, this image invokes those subjective judgements however the human subject brings a warmth in the recognition and a dedication to the task he is carrying out.

The absence of an identifiable form of regalia leads to the assumption that this person is a volunteer or at least someone who’s intention isn’t primarily money. If he is paid he may finance purchase of the traditional Sunday papers or the evening chippy as I am assuming this photograph was taken on a Saturday afternoon as the exposure would suggest it was taken in daylight.

In terms of the cropping of the photograph I feel there is development in my own work as I have previously made a photograph of a similar scene however I feel my photograph as seen below lacks the messages and identification exemplified in Farrell’s photograph for reasons I believe to be the wider framing in my image which serves to dilute the message of the anxiety of standing in a very small box.

Figure 2: Drew Findlay

Where I feel Farrell has been successful with this image is the way that she has expressed beauty in the banal whilst encompassing a clear sense of conflict. I would be interested in why Farrell decided to go to Boston as she is primarily based in the North West.

My understanding of Farrell is that her work is documentary in its nature and makes statements regarding class and the social rituals carried out in Northern towns and cities based around traditional labour sector industries. It is my assumption that Farrell understands her subjects and is able to communicate messages in a manner that is believable and sometimes with humour. I feel echoes of Martin Parr in the projects she disseminates on her website and I feel that her work has a powerful Northern accent.

Farrell, D. Grassroots [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 30th March 2020)

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