An award winning photographer and film maker has been inspired by the growing appearance of 'love-locks' on the city's Queen's Park suspension bridge to make a film.

Ian Southerin's short film Searching For Something I Do Not Know was filmed in Chester during last July's Northgate Street Festival and is set to the poem of the same name by US poet Garrett Beget.

The two minute film follows a girl, played by Louise Hey, as she walks through the streets of Chester, all the time carrying a key. The poem, narrated by Mia Chandler, expresses the thoughts going through the girls head as she takes in the sights and entertainment. The padlocks on the bridge serve as a metaphor for finding yourself in this artistic homage to Chester.

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Ian, who runs Location Photography, said: "The film is completely self commissioned. It is a project I have had in my mind for a long time. The concept of searching for something is universal. For me, the eureka moment came when I saw the locks on the suspension bridge, it gave my searching a destination."

Love-locks are a custom by which padlocks are attached to a fence, gate, bridge or similar fixture by lovers or friends to symbolize their love. The padlocks usually have their names or initials, either written or engraved, and sometimes a significant date such as the day they met or the day they got married. When done on a bridge the key is traditionally thrown into the river to symbolise the eternity of the bond.

 

The origins of the love-locks can be traced back to before the First World War to a bridge in Serbia. The tradition has been growing in popularity over the last two decades in both Rome and France and has now made its way to the UK.

Being inspired by the city, Ian's next project will be to photograph and organise an exhibition of the independently owned shops in Chester and will also be launching Cheshire School of Photography which will be based in Chester and will provide a place for enthusiastic photographers to learn the skills.

If you have placed a love-lock on the Queens Park suspension bridge then we want to hear from you. Fill out the form below to tell us your story: