EARLY WORK 1966-1974
Paul became a freelance newspaper and magazine photographer in 1965 and these images are some examples of the work of that period in the 1960s before he became a polytechnic lecturer in 1972. Influenced by working in art faculties, he moved away from traditional documentary photography to making psychological documents that became subjective reflections on the world around him and his own personal life.
Paul’s more personal work was evidenced in this project. Often using members of his own family, they consist of incongruous juxtapositions, visual metaphors and symbolic references that transcended the information that was in front of the camera at the time of exposure. They were ‘ordinary’ situations transformed into something ‘extra-ordinary’ and often surreal by precise framing and creative use of vantage point.
LANDSCAPES 1979 – 1989
After living and walking in the Peak District of Derbyshire for five years, Paul decided to use the immediate landscape around his home to explore his relationship with the area and to see if, by using a small format camera and a mid-grey tonal range, he could create a ‘different’ landscape photography aesthetic. The fine detail and tonality of images made with large format cameras would be challenged by a more ‘gritty’, gestural approach that used a similar strategy of framing and vantage point begun in Prenotations 1974-1978.
CONCERNING ANIMALS 1990-2002
Often a companion on Paul’s landscape photography expeditions in the Peak District, his dog, Spadger became the subject of a different, light-hearted approach with a ‘point and shoot’ compact camera loaded with colour film. This lead to further colour photography experiments with Polaroids and still-lives that became a meditation on how human beings ‘see’ animals as surrogates of themselves, instead of as fairly recently domesticated wild creatures.
CORRIDOR OF UNCERTAINTY 2006 - 2010
This body of work was an instinctive response to the uncertain and new world Paul entered after his wife, Angela’s death in 2006. Although there are subtle visual references to his wife’s illness and death, it is more of a four-year long metaphorical meditation on loss and pain, despair and hope, beauty and banality, and being in a foreign country without a map, where reactions range from pity to incredulity. Although it is a very personal journey, he believes it has resonances for a wider audience.
Following Corridor of Uncertainty (2006-2010) Paul embarked on a new project after meeting Maria Falconer (www.mariafalconer.co.uk), which has the working title On the Edge of Emotion. The work is visceral and instinctive and reflects the passion and emotion, the uncertainties and turbulence of a new relationship.