Land Lines has been co-curated by independent curator Amanda Game and photographer Paul Hart. Paul Hart’s own meticulously observed images of the manmade world of farmed fenlands appeared at Fen Ditton Gallery for the first time last autumn (Trees Observed) and it seemed timely to show a further series of images one year on, in the context of other photographers whose works he knows and admires. The other two invited artists, are the late great British land photographer Fay Godwin and Paul’s American contemporary Mark Steinmetz – showing for the first time in the UK.
Common ground between the three artists seems clear: all make black and white images of landscapes – devoid of people but rich in traces of human activity – rail lines; abandoned buildings; domesticated animals; furrows, fences, ditches and tracks. Poetic images are wrestled by long hours composing and longer hours printing images that reveal the shifting lines and patterns of human life.
Poet Simon Armitage in his discussion of Godwin’s work talks of a tension between ‘the insatiable human appetite for control… and nature fighting back… rampaging… fecund, fibrous…beautiful and true’, (‘Landmarks’ Barbican catalogue 2001). Ted Hughes composed poems in response to Godwin’s images of Yorkshire published as Remains of Elmet (Faber, 19179)… his lines
A few crazed sheep
Pulling its weeds
On a shore of cloud
capture something of the sensuous and questioning images that all three artists bring before us.
In Conversation & Book Signing with Paul Hart chaired by Amanda Gam
Paul Hart will discuss the background to his own work and his response to the images by the other two artists in the show. Copies of his books DRAINED (Dewi Lewis 2018) and FARMED (Dewi Lewis 2018 2nd. edition) will be available for purchase and signing.
This event is part of LAND LINES, a newly commissioned exhibition of black and white photographs by Fay Godwin (1931-2005); Paul Hart (b. 1961, UK) and Mark Steinmetz (b.1961, USA).
Paul Hart – Land Lines
27 September – 20 October
Fen Ditton Gallery
23 High Street