So I have begun my photographic study into what it is to be a man/male/masculine after an essay I wrote on The masculine ideal. To start this project I got in touch with a number of social organizations who, stereotypically are associated with masculinity. The first place to get back to me was The Blackpool Rifle and Pistol Club, an organization who have been running since the 50’s. On my first visit to the club I was taken back by the charm of the place.

The clubhouse and incorporated gun range had been hand built by the original patrons of the club, one of who is still there. I knew straight away that this place had to be documented, clubs like this don’t have a place within the minimalist 21st Century, and is almost certainly a dying breed. It has a raw 1970’s feel to it, with it’s faux wood paneled walls and brown abstract floral patterned carpets, and as with most things from this era a homely welcoming aura. Throw into the mix the interesting back-story of how they nearly went bankrupt after the 1997 amendment to the Firearms act in which a blanket ban was placed on all Pistols along with the competitive elements of shooting and the social elements of the club, we have an interesting project beginning to evolve.

I did a quick recky shoot last week just to try and get a better visual understanding of the place. I went for an on camera flash aesthetic as I thought it would really suit the look and feel of this unique club. My Concern now is how to move forward, documenting this place is only one layer and I need to strip away the surface layers to find the real interest, I suspect this lies with the patrons and members and something only time and a lot of shooting (no pun intended) will draw out.

Here are some of the images: