‘These are pictures pulled from the peripheries of vision and occasion, tracing the very edges of memory…’ Joanna Lowry, Creative Camera.
This on going, long term project which forms the majority of Williamson’s photographic work, involves the daily use of a small half-frame ‘amateur’ camera to photograph the ordinary and everyday events around him. Extending notions of the family album and the diary where daily events are celebrated and memories constructed, he eschews the carefully posed event, providing an alternative re-presentation of our remembered daily lives.
His current research into this body of work – originally intended for personal consumption – is concerned with highlighting various aspects of the work and bringing it before a wider audience, where relationships between the personal (private) and public (collective/cultural) can be examined.
Photographers often pride themselves on their ability to capture the decisive moment. The work of Mick Williamson however purposefully shuns the key moment, preferring instead to focus on what might be constructed as the missed opportunity. The impression left on the observer is in fact one of continuity and duration. There is no moment, only before and after the event. In other words the photographer is directed to capturing the entirety of the event. The image is then seen to be standing in for a continuous sequence and may be likened to the medium of film.
Williamson has been photographing for over 30 years using his unique style of photography of seldom looking through the viewfinder of his camera when taking a picture, often holding the camera at arms length or at the hip. He seeks to capture what is incidental and unexpected rather than reproduce the formally composed shot. These hand-printed black and white images act as partial a fragment, which invites attentiveness towards the everyday, the non-glamorous. Instead Williamson’s images offer a mode of viewing which is closer to the act of contemplation.
Mick Williamson is Head of Photography at London Metropolitan University and has had countless solo and group shows internationally.