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Darlington visitor attraction hosts alternative photo shoot
A VICTORIAN water works proved the perfect backdrop for a new photography group on a quest to create images with a twist.
Goggles, Goths and Lenses pulls together people with a passion for alternative fashion with photographers who love to capture their look.
Among their number are a civil servant, leisure centre supervisor, cabinet maker, ex miner, students and shop workers who met at the biannual Whitby Goth Weekend.
The group’s latest project saw photographers and models gather at Tees Cottage Pumping Station, in Darlington, for a photo shoot based on the science fiction fantasy genre of Steampunk.
The group will return to the pumping station, which began supplying water to Darlington in 1849, this weekend for a Victorian themed shoot.
Debbie Sutherland, of Darlington, makes her own costumes which she models for the group, often alongside 18-year-old daughter Emma.
She said: “I love Victorian gothic fashion and corsetry and enjoy being creative, I use a bought dress and customise it to suit a theme and my face is my canvas.
“I would love to go to Tesco dressed like that but I’m usually quite shy, this is like putting a mask on, a chance for us to express ourselves where there is no nastiness, nobody will laugh and we hope to produce images people enjoy.”
Mother-of-three and convenience store manager Rachel Barrett, from Stockton, is known as Dark Angel to friends and has been a goth since art college.
Modelling homemade costumes has boosted her confidence and partner Bob Peel is now studying for a degree in photography which he started as a hobby.
Stephen Bell, of Seaham, whose daughter Samantha features in many of his pictures, said: “The pump house was a great location for this type of photography.
“The venue and the way the models were dressed really fitted together well.”
Photographer Bob Slassor, of Easington, near Loftus, east Cleveland, said: “This group means I can photograph our models at any time of the year and not have to wait for particular events to satisfy my passion for this type of photography.”
Members thanked pump house volunteers for use of the building and hope their images, which are posted on a Facebook page, will also boost visitors to its next open event on Easter weekend, Sunday, April 20 and Monday, April 21.