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As this wave from memories flows in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands… The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.                                            


      Italo Calvino, Cities & Memory, Invisible Cities

The photographic series exhibited here collect together the unintended, anonymous, collective traces of everyday life in our streets and cities. None of these traces have been sought out, or constructed. They have all been discovered as part of my everyday life living and moving through the city.

These sometimes fragile markings and physical patinas of fleeting everyday moments can be considered as a contemporary archaeology upon the surfaces of our cities. Singular and accumulated traces hint at happenings, play, routines and rhythms, and become an alternative, collective, anonymous record of human existence.  

These themes have been an ongoing personal interest that I have developed alongside my professional practice as an architect. I developed an interest in urban memory and traces, and found photography to be the best method to capture and record them. 

The approach I've developed is to photograph each trace face-on. Whilst this can limit the physical depth, it can also emphasise a sense of depth in the colours and marks of the physical surface. I try to avoid any context that can distract from the essence of the scene that initially drew my eye. I like to think that this allows the photograph to dance between a kind of forensic documentation and abstract expression.

These series are influenced by painting- particularly "action painting" and the "colour field" works of abstract expressionism and the anthropometry works of Yves Klein. In photography, the influences are numerous, but I have found a particular affinity with the abstract expressionist work of Aaron Siskind, and the post-war work of the Czech Surrealist photographers Emila Medková and Vilém Reichmann. I am also influenced by Brassai's Graffiti, and the work of Helen Levitt where their work captures the anonymous artistic expression and play on the surfaces of the city by its citizens. 

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