Brighton Photo Fringe Open ’11 – Text by Louise Marlborough

‘My selection from the Brighton Fringe Open ’11 reflects my long-held interest in architecture, structures and the built environment. I love the lines, angles and geometry that inevitably come about in this manmade world and with which photography alchemically interplays. And, although this IS a man-made world, I am drawn to images that contain no human forms, to the un-peopled architectural scenes. Even as a 6–year-old photographer, I had a clear vision of how the world should look via my camera lens. I regularly removed people from my images ormerely waited for them to pass until I took the shot: I suppose I am a purist at heart and wanted buildings or structures to be viewed in isolation, without any disruptions or distractions.

Years later that vision remains with me. The images I have chosen reflect the way I want to see the world. Today, my work still involves the built environment: I am the Founder and Director of PrettyvacanT Dublin. We repurpose vacant buildings as temporary exhibition spaces for artists.

Much of my time is spent sourcing, locating and negotiating for vacant properties. In fact in my quest for our next space I can often be found peering in the windows of empty premises. There is no doubt people have stories to tell. But so do buildings; they can speak to us through the visual language of photography, through their scale, position and location. They wait patiently to be discovered and captured through a lens. Thus the role of the photographer is vital in unlocking these narratives.’


About barryfalk

I am a self-taught photographer based in West Sussex. I photograph ‘Incidental Spaces’, places tucked away and neglected: edges of car parks, junk-filled garages, loading bays, abandoned spaces, vacant rooms, ransacked offices. These are the overlooked details of a city: architectural features which appear to serve no function. My images seek to capture an aspect of the city which is not willingly acknowledged. These places can be read as metaphors for loss and as such are suffused with a disturbed sense of self, what Freud referred to as the unheimliche: the familiar which has become alienated through the process of repression. However, when re-seen, photographed from a particular angle, in a certain light, these incidental spaces turn out to be resonant with association.
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