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Self-Shadow 2 Photography, Photograph
Michael Carter grew up in London, studied at the Hatfield Polytechnic and the University of Oxford, and has a B.A. in the Humanities and a Ph.D. in English. These subjects have been influential in forming his particular interest in social landscape. His concern has been to develop a true sight aesthetic. This is a secular vision which does not incline towards the production of idealized images of environmental states. There is no 'spiritual' impulse in his photography or any intention to evoke or suggest anything 'mystical' at work behind the visible world. The emphasis is on human practices and products in a material reality, and the disclosure of meaning, resonance and beauty wholly within and around the objects themselves.
Self-Shadow 1 Photography, Photograph
Typically he makes pictures in a style he terms expressive realism. This defines a photography of places and things which stimulates feelings and ideas through the symbols and associations of the world as it is, rather than a reconstructed, directorial or edited photography which produce images that are not actually a part of a seen and shared external world.

The abiding theme within the range of his work is discord, incongruity and adaptation. This theme is particularly conspicuous in his images of Fleece Fields. The provocative way in which segments of English landscape are periodically wrapped in plastics presents a kind of paradox because plastics are being employed to protect and nurture the organic world of crops and plants. The images are intended to disclose this strange uneasy relation. They emphasize the dramatic and vivacious forms these plastics often assume, yet present those aspects of the traditional landscape which most serve to heighten the discrepancy between the natural and the artificial. Approached in this manner they may simultaneously arouse the outrage of a corrupted pastoral and also a troubling recognition of its aesthetic appeal.
These images exemplify how difficult it has often become to confront contemporary landscape in a simple, unitary, affirmative way, and how a characteristic response is complex, disjointed and typically ambivalent.

This theme of discord, incongruity and adaptation within the image may come to be associated with the feelings of reaction one has to the presence of the outsider in society, and capture the sense of the intruder and the misplaced alien, or even parts of oneself that are difficult to assimilate into the more public and orthodox sense of who we are.

Since first showing his photography in Devon in 2005 he has held many solo exhibitions, contributed to group shows and exhibited in numerous open exhibitions across the region. His most recent solo collection Marking the Land was shown in collaboration with the Weir Poets at the Ariel Centre Gallery, Totnes, in February, 2011. Examples of his colour work were exhibited at this year's Photography Open 2 exhibition at the Royal West Academy, Bristol.

His photography and ideas were featured in Art in Devon, Summer, 2006.
Fleece Fields, Photograph
Self-Shadow 2 Photography
Self-Shadow 1 Photography
Fleece Fields
Water Tower, France
Self-Shadow 3 Photography
The Slide
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