Paul Alexander Knox is primarily a documentarian working to examine social and cultural structures both locally and globally. In the North East he has focused on industrial history. Knox is currently exploring the changing social structure impacted by the loss of industry as seen though changes in social housing and land use. He has created a substantial portfolio of international work exploring the communal nature of the developing world focusing on how religion is practiced, trade is created and life takes place on the street.
For the The Sunderland Book Project show at Arts Centre Washington, Knox will be exhibiting work from two recent projects, ‘Where ships were born’ and ‘The Space Between’.
‘Where Ships Were Born’
In this extensive body of work Paul Alexander Knox explores the location of what was once dubbed ‘the largest shipbuilding town in the world’, capturing the changing environment of the last surviving shipyard inSunderland; Pallion Engineering.
The offices of Pallion Engineering have been long since abandoned leaving behind a Mary Celeste style shrine. The once opulent board room with adjoining dining room and kitchen constructed at the height of Pallion ambition now lie abandoned as moss and ferns cover every surface. Desks, chairs and filing cabinets remain in the spaces where plans were drawn and deals were made.
‘The Space Between’
The Space Between explores the different phases of social housing and regeneration via compulsory purchase order sites. Homes were demolished to make way for a new wave of regeneration to come. The collapse of the market has left these areas as liminal spaces, spaces between. Knox has photographed the remnants and marks left on the land where homes previously stood highlighting the once vital infrastructure that now stand as odd objects separated from function.
For a more detailed account of both bodies of work and further projects, check out om-shantiphotography.co.uk