A Bradford photographer has revealed how he was attracted to a local beauty spot during his 'Magnetic North' project.

Eccleshill-born Ian Beesley created a series of images while following a trail from from an MRI scanner at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) to Ilkley Moor.

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning unit at BRI is reached by quite a long corridor and the hospital asked Mr Beesley to create a piece of work to go along the corridor.

The task was given to him as part of his role as artist in residence for the Bradford Institute of Health Research.

Mr Beesley, who has released a new series of images to the T&A, decided to walk as near as possible along magnetic north from the MRI scanner. This is because the scanner only works correctly if it is aligned to magnetic north.

He said: “All images were taken facing magnetic north along an imaginary line starting from the MRI scanning unit at BRI and travelling across the Yorkshire countryside.

“I drew where was magnetic north from BRI using an Ordnance Survey map and walked it over two weeks, it took me to Ilkley Moor.

“The pictures were taken about seven or eight years ago and the installation at the hospital includes a poem by Ian McMillan.

“The first part of this journey took me over Ilkley Moor and sites there included an ancient stone circle, a number of cup and ring marked stones, the doubler stones allotment and an abandoned millstone quarry.

“It is believed that the cups on cup and ring marked rocks may have been cut for medicinal purposes, water collected in the cups would dissolve the salts from the rock and these solutions were believed to have healing properties.

“The chief executive of the hospital at the time said could I work in the hospital. A lot of space in the hospital was dreary.

“Decorating the corridors can be a bit of a diversion for people when they are in hospital, to take their minds off why they are there.

“They asked if I could do some work in the MRI corridor and cheer it up a bit.

“The MRI unit is just a massive magnet. It is computer linked to a satellite when it is installed. I thought that was very interesting.”

Meanwhile, a neon light sculpture Mr Beesley has created for the BIHR/The Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research has just gone on display.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, no official unveiling ceremony could take place at the hospital, but it now takes pride of place.

The design features a lightbulb with ‘Everything is Connected’ written on it.

Who is Ian Beesley?

He was born in Bradford in 1954 and after leaving school in 1972 worked in a mill, a foundry before going to work at Esholt Sewage works, where he was part of the railway gang.

Encouraged by his workmates to go to college and find a career, he took up photography and eventually was accepted to study at Bradford Art College, after which he went to Bournemouth & Poole College of Art.

On graduating he was awarded a Kodak Scholarship for Social Documentation and started to document the demise of industry particularly in Bradford and West Yorkshire.

His work is held in the collections of Bradford City Art galleries and museums, the National Media Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the Royal Photographic Society, the V & A London, the National Coal Mining Museum for England and The Smithsonian Museum Washington USA. He has published 40 books.

In 2012 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and in 2019 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bradford for his outstanding contribution to the art and culture and the social and economic development of the city of Bradford.

He is currently artist in residence for the Bradford Institute for Health Research, Gallery Oldham and Yorkshire Water.