In life, I like the variety around us that makes everything interesting, awakes our curiosity and brings us into an even richer world. With regards to photography, I try to capture the feelings and the images of life’s beauties and varieties that exist in many ways, from very small details to very wide views. I am looking for the contrasts in places, in colors, in different kind of buildings and I try to bring out the live parts of all this amazing mixture called ‘city’ by integrating people in the most natural way possible. There is also something mysterious and fascinating about how all these go along together… These pictures were taken in the “Museum Quarter” in Vienna, a place that really inspired me with its life and contrasts.
Portsmouth is the United Kingdom’s only island city. It is surrounded by water and packed with people. Despite miles of spacious pebbled coastline it is still the most densely populated city outside of London. With over 200,000 people crammed into 13 square miles of land
The top level of a car park offers an urban haven from the masses below. It offers a unique physical space that is incomparable to any other public space in the city. Car parks are designed and constructed to be filled with thousands of machines. There are times however when they are devoid of all human presence. In these moments they can provide peaceful solitude and an eerie yet soothing silence.
I suppose it is the scale of physical space, and the sense of urban isolation it provides that I am attempting to capture on camera. Once daylight disappears, the artificial light can imbue the vacant space & surrounding views with an ethereal quality. I find this otherworldly look both welcoming and visually pleasing.
I avoid shots that look down on the city below as I think they create a sense of voyeurism that I am not interested in for these images. I prefer the feel of shots that look straight ahead, whether into tall buildings or an empty sky. This perspective helps present a feeling of detached isolation whilst also conveying the insignificance of what is below.
It is that insignificance after all, which I am escaping from.
Paris’s eastern suburbs
The eastern suburbs of Paris remained a forgotten territory until 1998 and the FIFA World Cup. Since then, new buildings arise every day, from Company Headquarters to Ministerial offices.
But a trace from the past is still remain.
© Thierry Cariou (2009/2013)
I know this area well, having lived there for ten years, during which time I witnessed it’s steady, and seemingly irrevocable, decline. Some twelve or so years later I returned to record it.
The area is part of the former governments Pathfinder scheme, or, officially, the Housing Market Renewal Initiative. A scheme aimed at addressing a failure in the housing market where properties were considered unsellable and uneconomic to renovate. What the politicians didn’t like to say, though, was this was also a failure of political will and imagination, by a political class that was content to see solid and viable housing stock destroyed in order to hand over land to builders who would then ‘bank’ the land for an indeterminate time, waiting for more profitable times before they would build. All at a time of chronic housing shortages and prices unaffordable to many. Gone were the incentives to innovate or cut costs. Builders could carry on as before, rest assured that, whatever they did, the government would help them protect their profitiability. Resulting from a dogma that the market would find the right balance between supply and demand, then a recognition that it had not, and a government intervention was required, all to hand over the land back to the same market that had failed in the first place.
Mired in controversy from the start the scheme is worringly looking like it’s only legacy will be demolished houses. Or, as here, houses waiting to be put out of their misery.
Border Country – Heeley, Sheffield, UK
This curious, windowless Sheffield building is the home to a curtain and blind maker. It is located in a residential area. and lies almost perfectly, and slightly exotically, on the 9th century boundary between the ancient English kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia. A culvert containing Meers Brook, a tributary of the river Sheaf, from which Sheffield derived its name, runs underneath it.
I walk past it frequently. And each time I pass it is different: I view it differently, it offers different views, light and weather change its appearance, the owners paint, change and maintain it… To show the same thing in many ways fits my ‘anti-style’ style of photography which is deliberately undisciplined, untutored and attempts to be at least partly voiceless. The world can appear to us in a multitude of different ways, it seems a shame and almost wrong to depict it in only one!
These images are taken with a variety of digital and film cameras over the last 3 years.
The old Warehouse District has changed a lot since my first time in New Orleans in 1976. it became the Arts District and the old industrial storages have been replaced by Artwork galleries. But you still can find a trace from the past.
© Thierry Cariou (October/November 2012)
In life, I like the variety around us that makes everything interesting, awakes our
curiosity and brings us into an even richer world.
With regards to photography, I try to capture the feelings and the images of life’s
beauties and varieties that exist in many ways, from very small details to very wide
views. I am looking for the contrasts in places, in colors, in different kind of buildings
and I try to bring out the live parts of all this amazing mixture called ‘city’ by integrating
people in the most natural way possible. There is also something mysterious and
fascinating about how all these go along together…
These pictures were taken in the “Museum Quarter” in Vienna, a place that really
inspired me with its life and contrasts.
City focus – Liverpool, UK
For me photography is a necessary reaction to the bombardment of the spectacular society and the ever-decreasing circles it would have me running around in. A way to stop and stare for a while. To consider what is of value in my life and why. With my pictures I try to convey sometimes my alienation from modern life (and my attempts to reconcile these feelings), sometimes the absurdity I see around me, and sometimes what the environment we create, and interact with, says about us.
And sometimes the beauty I see around me when I just stop and look.
This short series were all taken in and around the city centre.