by Anton Want
I recently came across these two photographs whilst going through my archive of black and white prints. Both photographs were taken and printed in the early 1990s.
The one on the left shows a lady outside the Old Town Hall on Castle Street in Sheffield.
The one on the right shows a lady on the Avenue des Spelugues in Monte Carlo.
The prints had been laid together in the box and left,
somehow that made sense.
These two pictures, despite all their distance, have a lot in common.
They speak to and of each other if you care to listen.
It might be the coats, or the contrast, or the similar age of the ladies.
It might simply be the compositional scale.
But in two differing, everyday scenes there can be magic afoot, a common thread.
Stories to be told.
I’ve always been quietly fascinated by sense of place, that often indefinable feeling a location gives you.
Whether it’s a place known or not, it always leaves its mark.
The time you spend there matters.
Those senses aroused are infinite and rarely arrive as a singular emotion.
Awe, unease, happiness, isolation, disgust, fascination, hatred, love, anger, danger, sadness, a sense of home, a sense of being lost…. the list goes on.
These are automatic responses, but to look isn’t always to see.
It seems if you neglect your surroundings, and the people in them you ignore an important part of your self.
Anton Want’s photography is primarily concerned with people, identity and place. He has received international recognition for his work and exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Born in Sheffield in 1971, Anton studied photography, design and photojournalism. At the Barnsley Chronicle newspaper, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he witnessed and photographed the effects of mine closures on local communities.
Whilst covering international sport during the 1990s, including commissions for Time and Newsweek magazines, he was named British Press Photographer of the Year in 1994.
A change of direction, following world events post 9/11, lead to Anton concentrating on collaborative project based work and artist commissions. Including Evidence (2003), War on Television (2004-8), Ambition (2009) and Pit Profiles: Re-profiled (2011-13).
His current photographic practice and writing is inspired by the nature of change in British society.