About & Contact
Paul Anthony Gardner was born in London in 1948. He was in his late twenties and a mature student at Wimbledon School of Art when he began to take photographs. He became interested in sculpture and the built environment as photographic subject matter, and spent many years working on self-funded projects, while earning a living as a decorator. Eventually his photographs of English church monuments led to work for the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, for whom he contributed photographs to exhibition catalogues, including Antinous: The Face of the Antique, which won the Art Book of the Year Award for 2007.
His growing interest in old buildings coincided with a move to the East End of London in 1995, where he lived for ten years. He began documenting some of the buildings in the area, seeking out atmospheric and abandoned spaces that showed the effects of time and neglect. These buildings had survived the ravages of the twentieth century – wartime bombing, demolition by local councils during the 1960s, and more recent property development. Now facing an uncertain future, some of the buildings would be renovated and given a chance of new life, others would be demolished. An exhibition of the photographs was held at Sutton House in Hackney in 2003.
This series of photographs, together with more recent images including landscape gardens, coastal buildings, and the industrial architectural heritage, are documents of particular places, taken at specific moments in their history. On one level they appear to be objective and contain much visual information, but they also convey a sense of mystery and slight unease, of human feeling and presence, even though no people are recorded within them.
Paul Anthony Gardner travels and photographs throughout the country, working on a personal project inspired by the wartime Recording Britain scheme, and the Shell county guide books edited by John Betjeman and John Piper. He lives in South East London.