Festival Location: Union Terrace Gardens

Sodley-on-Sea is a photographic social documentary series about an imaginary British seaside town and is made up of images sourced from the Internet that are printed, physically cropped and then used to build dioramas that are photographed before being destroyed.

Mark Page created 10 new Sodley works for our Spectra 2016 exhibition and the idea for Sodley-on-Sea follows a long tradition of British Documentary photography, from Tony Ray Jones to Martin Parr, where the photographer has focused on seaside towns to explore the idiosyncrasies of British life.

The Seaside has always represented the British notion of escape and yet is a space deeply entrenched in the national psyche and allied with tradition. Page’s work questions how the subject matter has become part of the documentary photographic tradition and raises questions about how representative the work truly is – particularly when almost invariably carried out with a sneer. As such Sodley satirises both notions of Englishness and the entrenched documentary photographic tradition.  

This project was supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

About the artist…

Specialising in socially-engaged creative photography with a satirical edge and a distinct Northern voice, Mark Page has been a practising artist for fourteen years since gaining a BA Fine Art & Documentary Photography from Liverpool John Moores in 2001.

He has exhibited in the UK and internationally (Holland, France and Italy) seeing his works acquired for both public and private collections including The Public Library of Savignano Italy, The Indie Photobook Library Washington, USA and Sir Anish Kapoor’s private collection.

Seeking to explore the impact of the digital revolution on photography as an art form Page’s current work uses photography, ephemera and images sourced from the internet to build dioramas and collections, experimenting with different approaches of recording, archiving and satirising contemporary British life and the photographic and institutional traditions used to document it.