New Art Exhibition in the Great Hall

The Artist, David Leverett

While I grew up in Oxfordshire I have spent much of my adult life living and working in Wuhan, China.
For over ten years I worked as a teacher, then manager of a language learning centre and in the
process made the city my home. Despite this declaration and my many attempts at mastering Chinese
there are times I feel like an outsider, still coming to terms with the many differences in language,
culture and landscape. My photographic practice may have been born in the hills around Cholsey but
it’s been compounded by the uniqueness of my interactions within the city. Whether I am
photographing change, people interacting or something as banal as buildings. The aim is always the
same, to bring both myself and those who may see my photographs closer to the city and culture that
has given me so much.

Wuhan, Different Every Day.

I chose to remain in Wuhan, a city unheard of until the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020. My
wife and I elected to stay in China rather than be evacuated, a decision that meant we were confined
to our apartment for over 76 days, an experience I’ll never forget. In the aftermath the city was
naturally on edge, some public areas were still locked down or being policed with name checks and
temporary barriers. This made navigating the city an intimidating experience, something I hadn’t felt
while living in China before. This pushed me to the periphery, a place I found solace, away from the
crowds and a sea of masks.

I was initially drawn to the extremities of what I saw, not so different from how a tourist photographs
the highs and lows of a trip. Views of China’s past, which while being eye catching or able to garner
‘likes’ on Instagram, simply represented a knee jerk reaction to place. Time in a place changes your
perception, we care about the places around us not because of simplistic material things but the
memories associated with them. Over time and armed with a new found respect for the city my
approach gradually changed. With Wuhan, Different Every Day I aimed to try and bridge my own
preconceived notions of the cities development. Images which at times despite their banality
demonstrate the true nature of the city’s ever changing state.


David can be contacted by email to discuss his work or to purchase a photograph from the collection. Further information can also be found on his website.

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