Tag Archives: Paul Mortimer

Land Values – Paul Mortimer

02/02/18

Paul Mortimer’s degree show for the OCA was at the Dundas Art Gallery in Edinburgh.     He describes Land Values as his photographic investigation of how important land is in your life. The exhibition consists of three parts:

  • Engagement and play
  • Transformation and conservation
  • Environmental contribution

Engagement and play is a fascinating look at Mortimer’s own environment, comparing an area in Yorkshire where he grew up with the part of Glasgow he now lives in. Mortimer asks the question- are there similar places to play and grow in as a child nowadays to those he found in his own youth? His answer seems to be no – but why? In a conversation about this with Paul we wondered at length whether it was because of the lack of perceived safety outside at present, or was it because what was wanted now by young people was more ‘sophisticated‘ than the activities we engaged in as children.

water

© Paul Mortimer

Transformation and conservation looks at the coastal area between Hartlepool and Sunderland where a piece of land that was used by the coal industry and heavily exploited has now been allowed to regenerate and is used for the almost opposite causes of recreation and tourism. The land still shows the traces of what was there before in the form of piers and fences, but is gradually returning to its natural state. These images are stunning, vibrantly coloured and reminiscent of the work of Fay Godwin and Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen.

durham coast-12

© Paul Mortimer

Environmental contribution looks at the role of trees in our present urban areas, these were taken within the grounds of a hospital within the city of Edinburgh and show some stunning examples of trees against the somewhat incongruous signs in the area. The site is being considered for redevelopment, at present the grounds form an informal park for the local people and are taken for granted. Will this change with the changing use of the site? Mortimer hopes to be able to continue this project as the site changes its use and to follow the environmental changes here.

astley trees-15

© Paul Mortimer

This is an interesting tripartite look at how we engage with the land. Do we value it for what use it is to us – or does land have an intrinsic value, that is more than just its monetary worth? Why do we go to places? How does memory effect what our understanding of a new place is and our visions for the future?

www.landvalues.co.uk

 

Summary – weeks ending 26/01/18

26/01/18

Photography:

  • some interesting images of a van that caught fire and burnt out at the end of our road
  • using the Instax to get summary pictures of the week – this is hard! – partly to find an image that summarises what we have done, and partly because it goes against my  need to fiddle!

Reading:

  • Mark Cousins – The Story of Looking – a fascinating spin though the types of images and what you would have looked at over the history of mankind, also about the different ways people look at things
  • Professional Photography – talking about this years Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize – I found the 2nd place portrait of the Iraqi girl on the bus particularly haunting – I would never have considered focusing on the dirty window in this way. (Abbie Traylor-Smith)

Exhibitions seen:

  • The Way We Were: Photographs of Childhood from the National Galleries of Scotland – interesting exhibition of images of children from the very early days of photography up to today, both monochrome and colour. Some very interesting pictures taken in an early special needs school – not exploitative at all – just tender contrasting with modern images.
  • BP Portrait Exhibition: I see this every year and oddly enough am not usually very enthusiastic. I can see the technical skill of the painters but the rarely move me – this year the winning image – Breech – of a mother and child by the child’s father was very tender.
  • Land Values – Paul Mortimer – Final exhibition by an OCA 3rd year student

Thinking:

  • mainly concentrating on finalising the work for submission and getting things printed off.