Secret Cities

Secret Cities

After three years delivering major projects around the UK and Netherlands we are currently fundraising to allow  Andrew Brooks to return to Manchester to develop new avenues for his Secret Cities work. Experimenting with new mediums of print, projection and digital interaction the aim is to enable viewers to truly enter his stunning photographic worlds captured whilst exploring the hidden fringes of urban space.

Delivered in the Curated Place studio the project will invite local audiences to learn photographic techniques from Brooks and accompany him on location shoots before he develops new approaches to exhibiting his work that moves beyond the gallery wall.

Working with leading lighting designer Nick Malbon to create immersive exhibition spaces utilising cutting-edge hi-def projection our aim is to create a series of evolving digital murals in an experiment to transform Brooks’ work from a private studio-based practice into a public performance.

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The most recent Secret Cities exhibition opened on the 23rd August 2013 – 5pm at Museum Het Domein Sittard-Geleen.

15 stunning new works from photographer Andrew Brooks appeared both in the Museum and around the city on billboards taking his artwork from the gallery walls into the public realm. Accompanied by a narrative trail by curator Andy Brydon the works can still be seen on Andrew’s site and a publication will soon be available.

The Kerenshof in Chemelot

Pinball Dreams

The award winning, critically acclaimed Secret Cities is a uniquely effective, engaging and embedded cultural project that brings together artists, institutions and audiences in true collaboration.

Led by artist Andrew Brooks with curators Andy Brydon and Agusta Thorarinsdottir the project provides a platform and focus enabling participants to experience and interrogate cities using photography, exploration, memory and identity to create new perceptions of urban environments.


The project is a celebration of place, a renewal of outlook and a sense of ownership for local people so often lost in the increasingly privatised public realm of contemporary life. Industrial ruins, underground tunnels, abandoned windmills and prohibited places inspire stories through panoramic-style photographs. Each Secret Cities project contains tours, workshops and an exhibition.

Bringing together aspects of urban exploration, cultural heritage, architecture and art through digital image making the project seeks to explore and refresh mythologies around urban environments’ forgotten spaces.  Secret Cities is recognised internationally and is in development as a significant European-wide project. In 2011 it appeared in the Netherlands (commissioned by Stadsmuseum Zoetermeer) and the latest exhibition will open at Museum Het Domein, Sittard-Geleen on August 23rd 2013. Additionally, the project is currently in production in Reykjavik and will also appear as an exhibition in Edinburgh 2013-14.

Secret Cities was named as one of Culture 24’s Best Photography Exhibitions 2008. It has developed from a visual arts/photographic and social documentary project into a fully fledged holistic cultural programme – encompassing world-class exhibitions, effective outreach, remarkable engagement and strategies for urban regeneration. The project has received both popular and critical praise and has featured in significant national and international press such as the BBC, NRC Next, The Guardian, the Washington Post and Wired.

A truly beautiful collection” – BBC Radio 2, Claudia Winkleman Arts Show

The dust, dirt and damp that pervades these places seem to seep out of the pictures, turning them from dead spaces into something approaching fantasy worlds.” – Metro