Paul Blackmore / New Beirut / September 11 – October 05 2013
The Lebanese know better than most how cities rise and fall. After 16 years of bitter civil war the word “Beirut” became synonymous with violence, death and ruin. When a peace accord was signed in 1990, Beirut was devastated. Up to one third of the population had fled and another 100,000 had lost their lives. No one expected such evil from a city previously renowned for its tolerance and languid Mediterranean lifestyle. While much of the Arab world has been blown apart by social upheaval, mass violence, and political turmoil, Beirut, has been sitting quietly on its Mediterranean perch, happy and astonished to be a spectator for once. (Even the New York Times recently hailed it a “haven amid turmoil.”)
By day, buzzing scooters and battered old Mercedes taxis honk their way along palm-lined boulevards, unimpeded by demonstrations. By night, its people stroll along the seaside The Corniche, smoke water pipes in cafés, and indulge in the Lebanese capital’s legendary nightlife.
Beirut and its 1.5 million people have literally risen from the ashes. Whilst religious and political tensions simmer just under the surface Beirut has experienced a period of calm that has fostered a renaissance of art, fashion, and gastronomy, propelling the famously bullet-riddled city to emerge as the Arab world’s creative centre.
Australian born photographer and photojournalist, Paul Blackmore, has established himself as a much sought-after and highly collectable fine-art photographer. His many photo essays and stories have been published in prestigous international media such as: Time, L’Express, Le Monde and Geo Magazines. Blackmore is the winner of a long list of national and international photographic Awards and Prizes; his work has been exhibited around the world in both solo and group exhibitions. His work is held in many private collections and in the public collections of the State Library NSW, Australian Museum and the National Maritime Museum of Australia. He has gained prominence through his exhibitions at: Camera One in New York; Stills Gallery in Sydney; Stanley Street Gallery, Sydney; Perpignan in France; and Edmund Pearce Gallery and the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne.
Paul Blackmore lives in Sydney and travels extensively both in Australia and overseas.
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