Published September 22, 2022 : PhotoHastings member in profile
How would you describe your photography practice?

I consider it to be a form of personal exploration, a ‘visual discussion’, as well as being something of an addiction. I enjoy collaboration and debate, and to me these are important parts of the creative process. Much of my work centers around today’s social and environmental concerns and explores my feelings around these areas. A background of fine art-based study and a career in Art and Technology education, have inevitably been an influence on my own creative work, but it was not until 2018, that I made the transition to photography as my preferred medium.

Two recent projects look at the idea of human ‘disconnection’ and one of them, Plastics Heaven, is about my own eco-anxiety in lockdown 2020. For the In Power project, I made visits to the areas around two, soon to be de-commissioned, coal-fired power stations in the Midlands over 15 months until August 2022. Two new electricity generating power stations will use fuel sources that produce polluting bi-products and/or emissions as did the coal that they replace. I use idealised landscapes as well as waste and images of disrepair to consider alternatives for the future.

An exhibition of images from In Power will be online, as part of Brighton Photo Fringe 2022. Plastics Heaven, was exhibited as part of Brighton Photo Fringe 2020

Prints from REFURB, a Pandemic project, will be on view at Electro Studios, St Leonards-on-Sea in Real Utopias, a PhotoHastings group exhibition, from 11-17 October 2022.

What themes do you use in your photography?

The environment, evolving landscapes, urban interventions into rural spaces and vice versa, suburban anomalies, humour, human rights, industry, construction, decay… and others

What artists influence your practice?

None specifically, but I guess our influences are often subconscious.

Tracy Kranitz’s quotes about documentary photography and subjectivity, speak volumes to me.

I’m interested in the ideas of multi-disciplinary, ‘ecovention’ artist Agnes Denes, who began to effect change against the odds, in the 1960’s. Denes is a Hungarian concept artist in the US, who questioned policy makers, enabling a breakthrough in public awareness of environmental concerns. Her iconic Wheatfield Installation on the disused Battery Park landfill area of New York in 1982, seems almost more pertinent today.

What else inspires you?

A visit to London that I made in January 2022 I saw a memorable retrospective exhibition of Helen Levitt’s work at The Photographer’s Gallery. Her images of immigrant workers, slum dwellers and children playing in the streets of New York, starting in the 1930’s, show warmth and humour. I find her bravado, as a woman street photographer at that time, particularly inspirational.

What are you working on now?

I’m organising two exhibitions. After that I’ll be revisiting a couple of projects that I made a start on a year ago.

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TAGS : Anne Mason
Answers by Anne Mason (@anne_image_mason) to questions posed by Alison Bettles (@alisonbettles).
Website:  |  All images © Anne Mason
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