Sunday, 11 November 2012

More Raymond Moore

Went along to the main library in Carlisle to have a look at two of the books listed as authored by Moore in the link from my previous post on this photographer. Typically I managed to forget a pen/notebook/phone/camera so what follows is my recollection of two rather enjoyable collections of images – Murmurs at Every Turn and Every So Often. They are both slim volumes – and he library clearly values them as they aren’t available for loan and had to be retrieved from a special collection somewhere in the bowels of the building.

Examples of his images can be found here and here and they seem fairly typical of his work. There is also a video about the guy available through YouTube – a self-consciously arty documentary in typical 80s BBC fashion.

At first sight his images could easily be taken as photos of nothing much – muddy puddles, stray dogs, iffy caravans, essentially soulless stretches of road – but as you flick through the pages of the books they build in your mind something of a picture of the everyday. His images – although of specific times and places - surround us all the time. They are the visual treats that we scarcely recognise as we go about our daily business In some ways they feel almost like the output of a photo-a-day project. He seemed to feel that his role was to capture those fleeting moments and memories that the rest of us walk past – in the hope perhaps that it would encourage the rest of us to be more observant and value those things more.

If there is an issue I could raise it is the idea which is introduced in the video/supporting texts that he ‘turned his back’ on the beauty of the Lake District and by fairly hefty implication come to find something of interest on the dodgy West Coast of Cumbria. Unfortunately that overlooks the fact the the west coast has an attractive coastal strip – Mr Moore chose to concentrate on the coastal towns and villages – which were indeed pretty run down at the time.

So yes, these photos are interesting, and Raymond Moore has an eye for finding visually stimulating images in unlikely places but as is so often the case the stuff that’s out of the frame is in may ways as interesting as the stuff we can see.

It’s the nature of the area that very little development has taken place outside of the towns, so I think it might be instructive to se if I can retake some of these images as they are today – anticipating Project 29 by a fair margin.

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