Paul Kemp

Paul Kemp

Common Places: An exploration

It started with a question mark, a second look at the landscape followed by a personal dialogue with it. It is a landscape that I am familiar with and the conversation concerns how we perceive the world around us. The landscape around us is as much a fantasy and a fiction as it is actually experienced. This is the suburban green belt dream.

The romantic style of landscape still aspired to, harking back to a time before, taught us how to design magnificent outdoor spaces as well as the smallest family garden. It taught us how to achieve beauty with the simplest and commonest of means: the landforms and vegetation everywhere surrounding us.
But has it brought us closer to nature?

Common Places is an exploration of everyday spaces, car parks, roads, recreation grounds, gardens; some areas we inhabit. Here are the lamp standards, park benches, dog waste bins, fences, radio masts, bollards, signs and other street furniture. A tour unfolds of modern monuments to our present culture that amount to a pattern of tokens and traces.

Paul was born in 1977 and currently lives in Brighton.
He divides time between teaching Visual Arts and his photographic practice. He has also worked on commissions such as documenting the renewal and regeneration of a historic site in Brighton. His work stylistically mixes documentary and fine art conventions, producing images representing a landscape constantly in dialogue with those who shape it, the space shaped and changed into place. His main subject, the landscape and our cultural connections to it, has him to produce landscapes from paintball arenas hidden away in the woods, to a series of images that looks upon the subject referencing fairy tales, to the suburban environment in its picturesque manifestation.


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