Much of Nigel Shafran’s work seems to belong to the great tradition, one more highly developed in painting than in photography, of still life. He concentrates on low-key, undramatic details of everyday domestic life, and invites us to look at them afresh, to discover significance, a reassuring sense of continuity, and often surprising beauty.
Washing Up (2000) comprised more than 170 images of the dishes washed and left to dry in his own and others’ kitchens; since then, he has made a series inside the charity shops that spring up in most high streets – objects discarded and perhaps about to be recycled – and another of street markets.
These formally composed black-and-white photographs of his father’s ‘office’, apparently used as a dumping ground for discarded domestic objects, are unexpectedly poignant; the colour photograph of a storage wall in Jill and Terry’s garage has the formal structure and subtle colours of an abstract painting.
Sophie Spencer -Wood
Family [Photographers photograph their families]