Monday, 16 March 2009

Tim Atherton Traces-Alleyways & Spandrels

"The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the street, the gratings of the windows, the bannister's 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, The Invisible City

"Why do I photograph? Because for me it is an essential way of seeing, of exploring and understanding something or somewhere. I’m drawn to the traces people leave, the evidence or signs that the camera can discover, often seeming to find them in unnoticed or disregarded terrain.

The principle of exchange states that every contact leaves a trace – that with contact between two things there will be an exchange. I see this as being not only the exchange that takes place between inhabitant and place, but also between photographer and place – the trace of light on film – an exchange. I find myself searching for these traces, this evidence, collecting it and trying to make sense of it - trying to interpret it in some way – reaching provisional conclusions which are then either discarded or built on. Which is how I come to be photographing alleyways (and spandrels – I’m drawn to both meanings of the word: its architectural use, which seems applicable to urban planning, and also its appropriation by evolutionary biologists: a sort of unintended consequence of no practical use, but which is there nonetheless. It seems in many ways to apply to the unintended places and terrain vague of the suburbs)". Tim Atherton.
Photographer and artist Timothy Atherton has been taking photographs for over 20 years, obtaining his technical training in the British Army. He was educated at Middlesex & Durham Universities and after working and photographing in Britain for a number of years, including a year spent documenting unemployment in post-industrial NE England, he moved to arctic Canada in 1989, living in Iqaluit, Tuktoyaktuk and Yellowknife. In February 2005 he moved to Edmonton, Alberta. In recent years Timothy Atherton’s work has involved working with large format images leading to explorations in conceptual social and urban landscape projects.

Timothy Atherton’s work has appeared in Maclean’s Magazine, Saturday Night, the Globe & Mail, New York Times, L.A. Times, Forbes, Azure, Canadian Architect and numerous other national and international publications.

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