Dead Space was a series of exhibitions organised by Clare Farrell (now working as WERK) building on the mural paintings by Lucy McLauchlan on the now-demolished Birmingham Central Library. Clare invited me to make some work using the TTV Photography technique and despite a very limited budget (£100) I decided to build a giant sculpture using old CRT monitors and cardboard tubes to showcase video work I’d been making recently.

The work was installed for a month and I gave a talk about it hosted by The Royal Society For Arts West Midlands.

I clearly didn’t know what I was doing and afterwards wasn’t sure what had happened or whether it was any good. But with the benefit of hindsight I’m pleased with it as a first stab at being a “proper” exhibiting artist, learning what might and might not constitute an “art practice”, and starting to become something more than someone who just sells prints of their photographs at markets. You have to start somewhere.


pics by Matt Murtagh


pic by Matt Murtagh

One of the videos

Exhibition blurb:

Pete Ashton has created a series of slow animations made of sequential photographs taken through a home-made lens made out of a vintage camera, a process called “Through The Viewfinder”. These will be displayed on salvaged CRT monitors converted into peep-show machines.

A frequent subject of Pete’s work is “unnoticed Birmingham”, the patterns and shapes that emerge as the city succumbs to and builds on the entropy of progress. For this show he invites the viewer to view Birmingham’s pedestrian flow filtered through a nostalgic, intimate perspective.

Pete is documenting the logistical and artistic process of the work on his blog at

Medium – animated photography, CRT monitors, cardboard, gaffer tape.