19 January - 17 February 2018
The Photographers' Gallery Print Sales
British photographer Paul Hart (b.1961) has spent over a decade exploring human relationships with the land through photographs devoid of people. Poetry of Place is Hart’s first solo exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery and brings together his three related series to date; each one focussing on a precise geographical region photographed intensively over a number of years.Truncated is a deeply embedded study of an ageing pine forest plantation in Derbyshire, England. The tightly knitted images of the trees - themselves becoming almost anthropomorphic forms - show an environment (largely unaffected by the modern world) where nature has self-created shelter and protection from the elements. Moving away from the enclosed atmosphere of the forest to the wide-open expanses of the Fens in the East Midlands and the Wash in East Anglia, the subsequent series Farmed (2009-2015) and Drained present sparse, linear landscapes, which have, over time, been cultivated by people. By focusing on the often-overlooked elements in familiar vistas, Hart’s aesthetics carry a documentary sensibility that allows the landscapes to define themselves. Working exclusively with black and white analogue film and traditional darkroom printing techniques, Hart’s works convey something of the soulful in landscapes rarely considered of aesthetic merit.