Paul Seawright: Hidden


26 July - 31 August 2003

Milton Keynes Gallery’s summer exhibitions take the visitor from one extreme of contemporary photography to another. Paul Seawright’s documentation of Afghanistan after the conflict of 2001 concentrates on its heavily mined, desert landscapes while the John Hinde Butlin’s photographs of holiday camps are saturated with bright colour. MK G has deliberately programmed these shows alongside each other to demonstrate the great variety of subjects and styles which contemporary photography can embrace, and will continue its photography season into the autumn with new work by Juergen Teller.  There is an opportunity to find out more about photography as an art form at an informal illustrated talk at MK G on 13 August, given by Mark Haworth-Booth.

Paul Seawright is Head of the Centre for Photographic Research at University of Wales College, Newport and is one of the artists currently representing Wales at this year’s Venice Biennale exhibition. Last year he was commissioned by the Art Commissions Committee of the Imperial War Museum to respond to the attacks of September 11th and the war in Afghanistan.

His photographs of the Afghan desert attempt to capture the hidden menace of its mined landscape. On the face of it, the desert appears bleak, empty and sun-bleached; below the surface, however, it teems with lethal explosives. This conflict between the seen and the unseen is Seawright’s main preoccupation in Hidden. The resulting images are powerfully evocative of the terrible calm which follows an explosion of violence. Their bleak grandeur speaks eloquently and movingly about war and its aftermath.

Hidden has been organised by the Imperial War Museum, ffotogallery and the IrishMuseum of Modern Art, Dublin. The exhibition tour has been organised in collaboration with ffotogallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Oriel Mostyn Gallery.

Press Release