Adrian Pinckard
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Like many people, my earliest memories of taking photographs was whilst on family holidays, inevitably by the seaside as part of that familiar ritual of the holiday snapshot. Living most of my life near the centre of England, just about as far from the coast as you can get, I have always had an inexplicable, romantic yearning to be by the sea. I have made some of my most personally meaningful images at the coast and what I guess were some of my first “serious” photographs in this unfamiliar and yet simultaneously strangely familiar environment whilst still a student well over twenty years ago. It was only much later that I realised their significance.

The pictures I have selected here represent some recent examples of a new direction in my work, an idea that has been a long time in gestation. This idea has its roots in some of my very earliest photographs and overlaps both conceptually and chronologically with a current project I am now concluding called “Growing up in the Countryside”, (q.v.) Whereas this earlier work is very much concerned with a personal relationship to my local environment, the pictures here are all made in places where I am merely a visitor passing through. Not intended to be simple documents of places or subjects, like all my work, the images should be seen as “mirrors” rather than “windowsreflecting certain feelings, moods and states of mind. The images share common autobiographical, and allegorical qualities. They are also open to potential personal interpretation on the part of the viewer, depending on what the viewer may bring to the act of looking at the images from their own experiences.

For a long time now my work has been concerned with making photographs within and of landscapes, but not necessarily entirely about those landscapes. In much of my work, what is photographed is not necessarily the subject of the picture. This sounds contradictory and can be hard to accept, particularly with a medium like photography which, because of its power to record the surface detail of things with such convincing fidelity, we have learned in our credulity to accept as so called “truth”. In a way, what I am attempting to do is to find a personal truth through working with this widely accepted lie. A literary analogy might be found in a quote from the late American poet John Ciardi: “Poetry lies its way to the truth.”

Much of my recent work uses Polaroid SX 70 film. I use this format because I like the size and intensity of the images which encourages a certain intimacy which for me is an important factor when engaging with the work. They are unfashionably small, quiet images which require close, intimate examination and a degree of looking into rather than just looking at. At the moment I feel it is still too early to tell in what direction this new work will go. I’ll just have to wait and see . . .

Adrian Pinckard

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