Al Palmer is an artist living and working in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. His work focuses on the urban landscape and the environmental issues that have occured since the death of heavy industry in the north of England. After contacting us to share his work I felt the need to find out a little more about his approach.
When describing his approach to new work he told us:
“I usually begin with the seed of an idea. For Soliloquy it was exploring the edges of a city. The points where the suburbs and ex-industrial areas begin to intersect. I then look over maps, Google Street View, archives of the area and then pick a starting point to explore from. I use a Mamiya 7II, a medium format rangefinder, which allows for me to work hand-held but still gives a very sharp image with lots of contrast.”
“The first photographer whose work resonated with me was Robert Frank. When I was a fine art student (I studied painting) I went to Barcelona. In the Museum of Contemporary Art their was a retrospective of his work. I knew what I wanted to do with my life from that point. Alec Soth was later a big influence. His book NIAGARA showed me what photography could be. I learned a lot about working in a series – my work is never about a single image – and the rhythm and pacing that comes with it. Recently, photographers I’ve been inspired by include Dalton Rooney, Ye Rin Mok, Tamas Dezso, Amy Elkins and Adam Thorman.”
“Currently, I’m working on a long-term project which doesn’t yet have a title. It’s about series of huge lime heaps dumped on the banks of the river Tyne in the 50s and 60s. They were industrial waste produced by the nearby ICI factory which have since grown vegetation all over them, they are covered in trees but with man-made walk ways across them.”
Later this year Al Palmer will be curating an exhibition of photography at The Cluny Gallery in Newcastle. If you would like to see more from Al Palmer you can do here www.alpalmer.co.uk