Paul Seawright lives in Newport where he is the Head of the Photographic Research Centre in the city’s prestigious Department of Photography at University of Wales College. He has exhibited internationally and is the principal artist representing Wales at the 2003 Venice Biennale. His photography treats political control, its de-humanising effects and its attendant violence, particularly in Northern Ireland (he was born in Belfast) and its society. Recently Seawright was an official British ‘war artist’ in Afghanistan. Many of his works examine men’s relationship with authority and its paraphernalia, against the background of his observations of a community living in the grip of political struggle. He has compared his work to map-making:
Through drawing boundaries, framing objects and demarcating space, both cartography and photography draw attention to the proximity and remoteness between places, objects and people. In cartography, particularly that branch associated with planning, it is property relations that are created: private and municipal, domestic and public, community and state. In photography relationships are created between objects and people, communities and individuals, subject and viewer.