Mick Williamson’s diary-based work encompasses many times, spaces and places; however, all Williamson’s photographs represented in the East End Archive at The Cass are selected based on location. Williamson is never without his Olympus half-frame camera, which accompanies him everywhere; over the years his camera has almost become an extension of his body and he appears to sense or feel the photographs, rarely looking through the viewfinder. This working method means that his subject matter often exists on the margins both literally and symbolically, where ordinary, routine and frequently domestic events are snatched from the periphery of vision and brought back to the viewer’s attention through the act of photography.
“In Mick Williamson’s photographs the place speaks but it is also the site of memory,
desire and loss.
It is clear that Williamson’s photographs are not part of the current fashion; they are not staged, not digitally manipulated, they are conversant with the notion of the de-centred author but it is not as a result of the recognition of the determinism of the social or the role of language that give the images their distance. The images are very beautiful, sometimes fragments, the sense of something withdrawn, or glimpsed in the passing, time passing, incidents that summon up the whole, it reminds us that the photograph always opens up a space between the object and its referent. Williamson’s work requires of us the capacity for attention, attentiveness, awareness, care; they generate small acts of kindness in us and in language.
This work is a celebration of the passing of the world, of the journey taken… A lot of the images taken may never be seen by Mick or by anyone else, they constitute almost a conceptual component to the work. Merleau-Ponty indicates that we have already met time on our way to subjectivity, we are not just thrown into the stream of time, we make it. It is the essence of time to be in the process of self- production and not to be completely constituted. It is that sense of a moment against a background of infinity that gives Williamson’s work its resonance.”