TRUNCATED (2005-2008) is an intensive portrayal of an ageing pine forest plantation in Derbyshire, England. By exploring the natural spirituality of the place the series identifies a landscape where nature finds shelter and protection from its own elemental chaos.
Centuries of clearing and cultivation by mankind have eroded our forests. Where the tree was once commonplace, there is little woodland left - just small, dissipated ‘islands’ of trees, surrounded by a sea of used land. What does remain of this fragmented landscape is, however, largely unaffected by the modern world. There is no doubt that this ancient natural place is no longer part of the modern human psyche. But, when amongst the trees, it is still possible for one to sense a trace of the primeval. Stepping into the forest can feel like a step into the unknown, the shadowy half-light deceiving the senses. This is why it’s so alluring - secretive, mysterious, and precious.
This series was made on a large format film camera during the winter twilight hours.
“Paul Hart’s images of single trees function like portraits, highlighting character and nuanced individualities - with one important difference. Trees do not react like people when a camera is pointed at them. Tree ‘portraits’ depend solely on the sensibility of the photographer… His rich, dark prints capture the Stygian gloom of the dense pine forest perfectly, where trees are so close together that little light reaches their inner depths”
‘Meetings with Unremarkable Trees : The Photography of Paul Hart’.
ABOUT PAUL HART
British photographer Paul Hart (b. 1961) is interested in our relationship with the landscape from both a cultural and an environmental perspective. His work examines human-altered topography and our occupation and stewardship of the land, usually concentrating on one specific geographical region where he photographs intensively over a number of years.
Hart works primarily with the black and white analogue process, using large and medium format film cameras. His practice involves all aspects of the photographic process, and he is widely known for his exquisite gelatin silver prints. He has exhibited internationally and his photographs reside in major collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, The MoMA Library Collection, Martin Parr Foundation and the Hyman Collection. In 2018/19 he received the inaugural Wolf Suschitzky Prize (UK/Austria) and was short-listed for the Mark Rothko Memorial Trust Award (Latvia) and the HARIBAN Award (Japan).
Hart has published four critically acclaimed monographs with Dewi Lewis publishing; TRUNCATED (2009) is long out of print and the Fenland Trilogy books FARMED (2016), DRAINED (2018) and RECLAIMED (2020) have been reprinted a number of times.
Paul Hart is represented in the USA by the Etherton Gallery and Joseph Bellows Gallery.
Follow Paul Hart on Instagram at @paulhartartist