[( 6 )] COLLECTIVE
30 years of photographing the urban built environment and I’m still exploring and awed by the urban spectacle surrounding us. Permanently based in New York City but frequently bouncing across the Atlantic, photographing the streets and structures of the two environments stokes my sense of identity and belonging on both sides of the Pond.
Not glamorous architectural, Becher objective or social documentary my photography is a heavily subjective, cumulative approach tying experience, culture and physical structures together. With a focus on texture, colour and light there is still nonetheless a clear and important representation of location based reality.
Walking around Oxford, decades after my last visit, was both a journey of reconnection and discovery.
Over the weekend I encountered the city in transition.
During the day human activities played out in front of an attractive urban backdrop as locals, students and tourists became my focus.
At night as the streets emptied, the dark shadows, empty winding alleys, cobbled stoned roads, tall encompassing walls and solid stone buildings plunged me back into medieval times.
Glimpses of modernity: a bicycle, traffic markings, bollards, electric light tried but failed to bring me completely back to present time.
Until daytime and its people emerged once more.
I’ve been back in Brno, Czech Republic, for just over a year now, enjoying exploring this part of Europe again. I previously moved here after four years in the UK, two of which were in Oxford. Eight years in China fit between my times in Brno. I was born in South Africa, and left around 2002.
It is a sense of not really belonging anywhere which drives my explorations in the places I visit, and the environment I find myself. I’m not fond of attaching a specific title to myself or my work, so for now I’m just going with photographic artist.
What if I hadn’t left?
Experiencing and photographing is, in large, the act of comparing.
Comparing places, smells, people and sounds, to those already known, or those I had experienced since the last time in that particular place. Also, consciously comparing to where I’m living at present.
Revisiting Oxford 10 years since I’d left was not only a sensory becoming aware again of place, but also an emotional awareness of the act of comparing – the city, yes, but also myself as a person who has changed so much through the years.
I’m a photographer based in South East England. I view my practice as conceptually based documentary, spanning both portraiture and landscape, and I have a particular interest in East London. My photographs have been exhibited in London, Oxford and Sheffield and are held in private collections and the archives at Toynbee Hall in East London. I have a degree in photography from the Open College of the Arts.
GEORGE STREET is a series of photographs of the facades of buildings along this historic street in Oxford. The photographs are flat, frontal views with limited expressive effects. They have the appearance of architectural drawings and in keeping with this analogy a legend is included on each print, with details of the address, the current occupants and the nature of the businesses trading there in Victorian times (extracted from the 1896/7 Kelly’s Directory). The form of presentation encourages the viewer to look carefully at the architecture and the social and cultural influences enacted on it. This is in sharp contrast to the way in which people generally pay little attention to the buildings around them as they hurry about their daily lives.
Much of my work is concerned with transience, of periods of change and the transitions people and places go through, and the way that portion of time is seen at a later date.
I favour a measured, methodical approach to image making; often revisiting subjects and themes a number of times in order to build a series of experiences and ways of seeing from which I can draw out the essence of what I am trying to say through my work, but also enjoy including elements of fortuitous circumstance should the opportunity present itself. I have an interest in exploring the photographic medium as a form of visual expression, and enjoy experimenting with techniques and methods and the variety of often unexpected results these produce.
Oxford’s Covered Market dates back to 1774. It is a bustling place where stalls and shops, both traditional and modern, sell a range of goods from meat to handbags; flowers to model cars. There is also a range of eateries to be found.
A visit late in the day or on a Sunday brings a calmer, more subdued, sometimes eerie experience. With many of the shops closed and foot-traffic diminished, we are given a chance to linger and study some of the more unusual and quirky features of the market.
I’m an amateur photographer interested in all sorts of things, but representation and curation would be two subjects near the top of my interest list. I’ve been seriously into art and photography for about eight years and the different milestones for the journey can be seen at paralysed.weebly.com along with some of my work. Alternatively just Google anomiepete and you should find me.
The Oxford that first comes to mind is often the one seen in TV programmes where our ideas of it are dominated by the University’s colleges. Yet there is much more to Oxford than that. If you just walk a few miles south to the Blackbird Leys area you will find a typical 1960s large scale housing estate where people’s dreams and aspirations are tempered by a very different Oxford experience.
I’m a photographic artist living in the rural North-West of England.
My aim is to record the journey, the road trip, getting from A to B geographically, temporally or metaphorically, and the things I see there, using whichever style of image-making that provides sense to that journey. Another recurring subject is what has been termed the “mundane” or “neutral”; those everyday things we fail to notice until they’re recorded photographically, which makes us stop and reflect.
Occasionally I’ll even try different things.
“Catch”, shown here, falls into this category of “different things”. My experience of Oxford during that weekend in September has been mediated through the use of Pokemon Go. The “augmented reality” phone app changes the way we look at our environment. It’s not about the rich history of the city, its about the here and now; the zeitgeist of this age of technology, an ersatz of true reality.