Some say the internet was made for cat pictures. And if you have a spare moment of web time and fancy a comedic, documentary insight in the world of feline floor-fillers, take a look at Mark Terry’s Cat Show 1 and 2
The results are what happens when a documentary photographer with a “lifelong apathy toward cats” reluctantly finds himself submerged in the surreal world of pet shows.
Internet-friendly they may be, but the candid shots taken by our lecturer in BA (Hons) Lens-based Photo Media – and lecturer in New Media for other courses – are, of course, but a cat-scratch on the surface of a fascinating portfolio.
Delve deeper into Mark Terry’s research projects and you’ll find portrait and landscape work documenting the characters who work on or use the River Ancholme; a grease-spattered look at the staff and clientele of a roadside transport café and, perhaps most significantly, a large-scale cultural exchange and arts activity project working with artists in Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan project is called ArtRole and was set up in 2004 by one of Mark’s students, a graduate of Hull School of Art and Design of Kurdish-Iraqi origin, Adalet R Garmiany.
Mark is a co-founder and director of the organisation and has so far made three trips to the country, providing the art exchange scheme with photographic documentation, design and publicity.
More exchange visits followed and in 2009, ArtRole organised a Post War Festival in Kurdistan.
Mark says: “At the Post War Festival, artists from Iraq showed their work in the Red Jail, a 3,000sqm cinderblock complex of cells that were formerly used by the Ba’ath regime to incarcerate, torture and murder Kurds, including those who opposed Saddam Hussein’s regime, until the Kurdish uprising in 1991. Now, the Red Jail is a museum and gallery for Kurdish culture.”
At the three-day festival, opened by the Prime Minister of Kurdistan, an installation by artist Richard Wilson was shown for the first time in the Middle East. Called 20:50, it was an oil-filled room, entered via a walkway. Deceptive and reflective in equal measure, the effect of all that black gold was, Mark says, a sight to behold.
In 2010, ArtRole staged an exhibition in Manchester, Contemporary Art In Iraq, and the group is currently working on a Kurdistan-based project, Women In Action, highlighting the work of female artists in Iraq and Kurdistan.
Mark has worked as a photographer at the Ministry of Defence’s HMS Nelson base in Portsmouth, in press photography, medical photography and has also worked in a self-employed capacity, in a photographic career that started in 1980.
He has taught photography at Hull School of Art and Design since 2007, and web design, digital imaging and video at Lincoln University prior to that. Mark achieved an MA in Digital Imaging and Photography MA at Lincoln University in 2011 and work from his final project, On the Ancholme has been shown in London, Lincoln and Hull.
Keep up-to-date with Mark’s work at blog.markterry.net