Following his studies in art and painting, Power began a colourful career in which he worked within Western cultures including Australia. Power was intrigued by the camera and began an editorial career in the 1980’s and it was during this time that Power became recognised through his commissions. Power has exhibited internationally and has also published books in which his work features. Power is currently based in the south east where he works as a professor at the University of Brighton.
Power’s series ‘The City of Six Towns’ explores post industrialised towns in Stoke on Trent which explores how each town has transformed from its past. The series was exhibited in Hanley, February 2015. The collection brings a wide range of subjects to observe, some close up and others from a distance but all the while, Power gives the viewer a broadened perspective of the everyday life that has built the towns to what they are now. Power often observes people who contribute to the community services such as police, builders as well as the general passer by going about everyday routines. Power brings a sense of familiarity and homeliness that refers to general business that the audience may also relate to or recognise with. Powers presents his portraits in a very sincere way that reveals an honesty in the identity of the individual characters seen from the regular supermarket customer to the sports fan. Power emphasises on this effectively and also features still life imagery throughout the collection. Some images possess a curious atmosphere; one image (Fig 1) which sees a figure looking down a humble country road is both intense but casual as we do not see the figures face. However, the viewer is still able to learn some characteristics from the figures clothing demeanour. What is he thinking? Would we want to be walking down the same path that he is if we were in the place with him? Power derives an instinctive perspective towards the subject in a way that allows us to judge for ourselves.
I find it interesting how Power refers to spaces as a reminder that they exist for some images display elements that show how the space has potential for use in the public environment. I also admire how Power delves into the culture and highlights common factors that represent the location. This is influential towards my own understanding of using elements to symbolise a place that the audience can associate with.
Mark Power (2016) The City of Six Towns [Online] Available from: www.markpower.co.uk (Accessed 03/01/2016)