Tim Mitchell: Product
Updated: Nov 28, 2019
We visited the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art at the National Glass Centre to have a look at not one but two Tim Mitchell collections.
Tim has worked for over 20 years photographing the objects we use (and perhaps abuse) in our contemporary lifestyle. He has produced 5 books with Product being the most recent, he has been a visiting lecturer at our university, he has also had solo exhibitions for each of his pieces and has featured in 14 other group exhibitions. His work is normally put together over painstakingly long periods of time, 10 years in the making was this last piece.
Onto Product, a two part installation firstly showing the end of the life cycle of clothing from the fashion industry. These images are part of a much larger piece of work named "Clothing Recycled".
Various images taken from around new Delhi showing where our clothing ends up and how it gets used, recycled and is a whole local industry.
The second part is Welcome Fashion week. This piece was created over 6 years as Tim worked behind the scene at Paris and Milan fashion weeks. An eyewitness account of what goes on off the catwalk but more so how huge budgets were splurged by the fashion industry before it all came crashing down in the global economic crash of 2008.
Don't expect to see top level photography as Tim was not supposed to be taking photos as he worked, the images are rushed, poorly composed and are there to capture what was going on rather than making a stunning image. This work is the prequel so to speak of Clothing Recycled as we get to see what happens to the material waste when there was no demand.
The second display is a lot more quirky and more to my liking. The Hopeless Transport Archive is a series of vehicles shot in tragic circumstances from Tims travels around Europe. It's another projected piece and reminded me a lot of my own travels around the continent. I myself have been extensively around Poland and parts of Slovakia where you see these discarded Fiats, Trabants and Ladas.
I will be adding the book to my reading list if only to see what our own Dr Carol McKay had penned in it.