Paul Hill (1941 – )
Paul Hill was born in Ludlow in Shropshire. He trained as a reporter and worked on local newspapers for six years, gradually adding photography to his journalistic skills. In 1970 he started teaching photography, becoming Principal Lecturer in Creative Photography at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham; he later became Professor of Photography at DeMonfort University in Leicester. Hill founded the Photographers’ Place, a centre for photographic studies in Derbyshire, was the first Chairperson of the Contemporary Group with the Royal Photographic Society, and in 1994 was awarded an MBE for his services to photography. His work in the British Council Collection reflects the direction of his photographic career - moving from reportage and commentary to an increased interest in the photograph as an expressive object. Notwithstanding this shift in emphasis, Hill’s work exemplified a consistent interest in the photograph as an artefact, a ‘stilled rectangle or square of space’ within which forms may be disposed. For a time he sought the partial view, the unconventional angle, which provoked the viewer to complete the fractured image and so acknowledge the role of the photographic frame. The landscape studies in the Collection present a more 'natural' view of his subject matter, and confirm Hill’s interest in the reading of photographs as a kind of detection from given evidence - his pre-occupation with the objective nature of the photograph as a flat surface carrying deposits of tone from which can be interpreted the character and relationships of objects in the real world.
Photography as Medium, The British Council 1981
Existing or coming into being at the same period; of today or of the present. The term that designates art being made today.
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.
A permanent image taken by means of the chemical action of light on light-sensitive surfaces.