© Paul Cunningham

Paul Cunningham: Untitled 3 (From "England" series), 2001
c-type print
print size 20 x 25cm
Edition of 5


Photographs by Sian Bonnell, Paul Cunningham
and Jem Southam

Sian Bonnell works with found objects and household articles, placing them out of context within rural and coastal environments, as well as imagined landscapes constructed around her studio. These interventions are then photographed as documents not just of the object but also of an event. Rather than seeking distant high or lonely places, which carry a sense of the exotic, spiritual or sublime, Bonnell is happy to work with familiar everyday objects in a mundane landscape. This undercutting of the rhetoric of romanticism is employed to comment on and create other fictions; landscapes of the imagination.

Bonnell's work has recently been seen at The Armory Photography Fair in New York, at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and at The Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museum. Her work is represented in various collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, She is currently working towards forthcoming solo exhibitions at AZG, Groningen, and Hirschl Contemporary Art, London, and inclusion in a six artist show at HCP in Houston, Texas.

Paul Cunningham is primarily interested in place: in intuitively translating the textural and schematic elements of the landscape to define the quiet, and to him, intense significance of a place. In looking beyond the site to create images that carry an ambiguous emotional charge and which leave all necessary space for uncertainty and potential.

"I embark on a journey to a nominal location, at which I rarely arrive; I mostly sense places in passing. I favour using a hand-held camera, taking 6 x 7 cm negatives, and making prints at a relatively small and intimate scale. Looking through the viewfinder - rather than at an image formed on the ground glass of a larger format camera - I value the notion of seeing things at eye level to become immersed physically and psychologically into the location. In this way both I, and the viewer are implicated, sharing the crosscurrents of seeing and, perhaps more strongly, of perceiving". This art of perception both brings significance to a location and excavates something of its essence already present.

Four of Cunningham's work has recently been included in Blind Spot, Camera Austria, and Next Level. Photo District News included him in a list of 30 young photographers to watch in 2002, and ArtKrush will feature him early in 2003. Last year, his work was exhibited at Hirschl Contemporary Art, and at The Armory Photography Fair, in New York. The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, recently acquired two pieces for their Permanent Collection.

Jem Southam selects specific geological sites for his work, mainly along the south coast of England - these include a clifface, a stretch of coast within a bay, a pond, or a particular place on a particular floodplain. He returns to them repeatedly, often over several months or years, recording the effects of time on their construction and destruction. If history is a continual process of slow accumulation, each photograph is one pause in that cycle of change. Southam uses a 10x8 inch plate camera to photograph sequentially, the fluid, historical drift of imperceptible movements, in tandem with more violent forces, which shape the landscapes in which he works.

He was born in Bristol in 1950, and graduated from the London College of Printing in 1972. Since 1981, Southam's photographic work has developed through five main series; Bristol City Docks (1977-1984), Paintings of West Cornwall (1982-1986), The Red River (1982-1987), The Raft of Carrots (1992), and The Shape of Time: Rockfalls, Rivermouths and Ponds (2000). These works have been exhibited widely in Britain and internationally, including more recently The St. James Group Prize, The Armory Photography Fair, in New York, ParisPhoto, and ReViewing Landscape at Art+Photographs. Southam was shortlisted for the Citibank prize in 1999.

Ausstellungsdauer: 5.2. - 8.3.2003
Öffnungszeiten: Mo-Fr 10 am - 6 pm, Sa 11 am - 4 pm

Hirschl Contemporary Art
5 Cork Street
GB-London W1S 3LQ
Telefon +44 (0)20 7495 2565
Mail hirschl@dircon.co.uk