A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

048 - Mark Power

Episode Summary

As a child, Magnum photographer Mark Power discovered his father's home-made enlarger in the family attic, a contraption consisting of an upturned flowerpot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens. His interest in photography probably began at this moment, though he later went to art college to study life-drawing and painting instead. After graduating, he travelled for two years around South-East Asia and Australia and it was at this point that he began to realise he enjoyed using a camera more than a pencil and decided to 'become a photographer' on his return to England, two years later, in 1983. He then worked in the editorial and charity markets for nearly ten years, before he began teaching in 1992. This coincided with a shift towards long-term, self initiated projects which now sit comfortably alongside a number of large-scale commissions in the industrial sector. For many years his work has been seen in numerous galleries and museums across the world, and is in several important collections, both public and private, including the Arts Council of England, the British Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. To date Power has published eight books: The Shipping Forecast (1996), a poetic response to the esoteric language of daily maritime weather reports; Superstructure (2000), a documentation of the construction of London's Millennium Dome; The Treasury Project (2002), about the restoration of a nineteenth-century historical monument: 26 Different Endings (2007), which depicts those landscapes unlucky enough to fall just off the edge of the London A-Z, a map which could be said to define the boundaries of the British capital; The Sound of Two Songs (2010), the culmination of his five year project set in contemporary Poland following her accession to the European Union; Mass (2013), an investigation into the power and wealth of the Polish Catholic church; Die Mauer ist Weg! (2014), about chance and choice when confronted, accidentally, with a major news event - in this case the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment (2016), a collaboration with the poet Daniel Cockrill about pre-Brexit England. Mark Power joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, and became a full Member in 2007. Meanwhile, in his other life, he is visiting Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton, on the south coast of England, where he lives with his partner Jo, their children Chilli (b.1998) and Milligan (b.2002) and their dog Kodak.

Episode Notes

As a child, Magnum photographer Mark Power discovered his father's home-made enlarger in the family attic, a contraption consisting of an upturned flowerpot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens. His interest in photography probably began at this moment, though he later went to art college to study life-drawing and painting instead. After graduating, he travelled for two years around South-East Asia and Australia and it was at this point that he began to realise he enjoyed using a camera more than a pencil and decided to 'become a photographer' on his return to England, two years later, in 1983. He then worked in the editorial and charity markets for nearly ten years, before he began teaching in 1992. This coincided with a shift towards long-term, self initiated projects which now sit comfortably alongside a number of large-scale commissions in the industrial sector. For many years his work has been seen in numerous galleries and museums across the world, and is in several important collections, both public and private, including the Arts Council of England, the British Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. To date Power has published eight books: The Shipping Forecast (1996), a poetic response to the esoteric language of daily maritime weather reports; Superstructure (2000), a documentation of the construction of London's Millennium Dome; The Treasury Project (2002), about the restoration of a nineteenth-century historical monument: 26 Different Endings (2007), which depicts those landscapes unlucky enough to fall just off the edge of the London A-Z, a map which could be said to define the boundaries of the British capital; The Sound of Two Songs (2010), the culmination of his five year project set in contemporary Poland following her accession to the European Union; Mass (2013), an investigation into the power and wealth of the Polish Catholic church; Die Mauer ist Weg! (2014), about chance and choice when confronted, accidentally, with a major news event - in this case the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment (2016), a collaboration with the poet Daniel Cockrill about pre-Brexit England. Mark Power joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, and became a full Member in 2007. Meanwhile, in his other life, he is visiting Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton, on the south coast of England, where he lives with his partner Jo, their children Chilli (b.1998) and Milligan (b.2002) and their dog Kodak.