15th May – 22nd Jun 2013
Paul Blackmore is one of a new generation of photojournalists whose elegant, coherent and enduring observations function as both valuable records of social change and stunning fine-art images.
The Lebanese know better than most how cities rise and fall. After 16 years of bitter civil war the word „Beirut‟ became synonymous with violence, death and ruin. When a peace accord was signed in 1990, Beirut was devastated. Up to one third of the population had fled and another 100,000 had lost their lives.
No one expected such evil from a city previously renowned for its tolerance and languid Mediterranean lifestyle. While much of the Arab world has been blown apart by social upheaval, mass violence, and political turmoil, Beirut, has been sitting quietly on its Mediterranean perch, happy and astonished to be a spectator for once. (Even the New York Times recently hailed it a “haven amid turmoil.”)
By day, buzzing scooters and battered old Mercedes taxis honk their way along palm-lined boulevards, unimpeded by demonstrations. By night, its people stroll along the seaside The Corniche, smoke water pipes in cafés, and indulge in the Lebanese capital‟s legendary nightlife.
Beirut and its 1.5 million people have literally risen from the ashes. Whilst religious and political tensions simmer just under the surface Beirut has experienced a period of calm that has fostered a renaissance of art, fashion, and gastronomy, propelling the famously bullet-riddled city to emerge as the Arab world‟s creative centre.
Australian born photographer and photojournalist, Paul Blackmore, has established himself as a much sought-after and highly collectable fine-art photographer.
His many photo essays and stories have been published in prestige international media such as: Time, L’Express, Le Monde and Geo Magazines. He has published two books of photo essays. At Water’s Edge, published in 2012 is his latest book, exploring the intimate relationship between humanity and its most vital natural resource – water.
Australian writer David Malouf once said of Blackmore’s work: For all its grimness, the world he [Paul Blackmore] presents is aglow with life, little incidental beauties, and an abiding mystery.
In 2010 a series of photos from At Water’s Edge were exhibited at the esteemed Biennale D’Limage France and in 2012, at the Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City. The artist was one of only two Australian photographers (the other Max Pam) selected to be part of the prestigious NAZAR: Photographs from the Arab World US touring exhibition. This exhibition is accompanied by a 268-page book. For more info www.fotofest.org/nazar/
Blackmore is the winner of a long list of national and international photographic awards and prizes; his work has been exhibited around the world in both solo and group exhibitions. His work is held in many private collections and in the public collections of the State Library NSW, Australian Museum and the National Maritime Museum of Australia.
He has gained prominence through his exhibitions at Camera One in New York, Stills Gallery in Sydney, Perpignan in France, and Edmund Pearce Gallery and the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne.
Paul Blackmore lives in Sydney and travels extensively both in Australia and overseas.