Mark Neville

Port Glasgow Town Hall Christmas Party (2005)

About this artwork

In 2004, Mark Neville spent a year as artist in residence in Port Glasgow, a town confronting in concentrated form the hardship of Scotland’s post-industrial decline. His stay resulted in a photographic book which he then distributed free as a gift to the community. This image featured on the front cover of the book and quickly took on an iconic status. The book, according to the Greenock Telegraph, caused a “sensation”, as locals expressed both their disgust and appreciation. It revealed, in the words of one respondent, that “we [Portonians] like a good party”. With the project, Neville sought to reignite the potential of the documentary tradition. Photography, he insists, can and should be shared.

Mark Neville

Mark Neville

Mark Neville’s lens-based work centres on his interest in subverting genres within film-making and photography and is an investigation into how different types of film and photographic practice align themselves with diverse demographic groups. Neville is concerned with how images generally are disseminated according to class and income, and how documentary practice can be challenged in order to empower its sitter, or subject matter, beyond the position of its author. Neville was born in London and studied Fine Art at Reading University from 1985-90, Goldsmiths College from 1992-3 and at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam from 1994-5.