Patrick Shanahan's photographs investigate the contemporary cultural landscape, offering a seductive and unsettling re-imaging of modern urban environments.
Making full use of the scenographic, artificial aspects of large-scale photography, he produces topographic images that are close to the kinds of minimalism found in painting and sculpture. These largely unpopulated compositions are subjected to a pristine finish and treatment of light, colour and space that help to establish a tension between a real and constructed landscape - a landscape in which the distinction between reality and imagination seem to blur and we are left with a peculiar sense of spatial estrangement.
In his series 'Esperantis', Shanahan photographs at night, focussing on peripheral urban areas that are brightly lit to reveal hyperreal spaces at once convincing but unsettling. Shanahan often concentrates on beach scenes that we are used to seeing in daylight, crowded with holiday makers. The emptiness of these tourist havens, combined with the artificial light that distorts the photograph in unexpected ways, adds to the strangeness of these images. Exploring the link between the real and the ideal, Shanahan plays with the material and psychological effects of modern urban spaces.
Born in Manchester, 1955
Resident in Cornwall, since 1994
PhD by Project, Royal College of Art, London
MA Photography, Royal College of Art, London
BA(Hons) Fine Art, Stourbridge College of Art
Foundation Diploma, Warrington College of Art
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