Christopher Taylor (b. England 1958) first trained as a zoologist before his interest in photography grew out of temporary summer jobs in his late teens, as a beach photographer with a local company. In his late twenties, he began to work with an IT software company in London, a job he held for almost a decade. Though Taylor had no professional training, he began to pursue personal photographic projects during this time and was first exhibited at Impressions Gallery, York, in 1986.
Usually preferring to use a medium format camera, often an old Rolleiflex, Taylor captures spaces and objects at a certain moment of stillness – producing a simultaneous experience of familiarity and unfamiliarity – providing the viewer an opportunity to reexamine things from a new perspective. His photographs have an aesthetic of both the everyday and the spectacular; a sensibility of both the ordinary and the emblematic.
Having first travelled in Asia, particularly in India and China, between the years of 1986 and 1988, Taylor found himself returning to these two regions repeatedly over the years for a variety of exhibitions, books and projects. His long engagement with India produces a rich, nuanced and deeper understanding of its character which is reflected in his work – the India of his photographs are not one of colour and bustle, but one of a quiet durability and transience.
In most cases, deprived of human presence, Taylor’s photographs capture spaces with a specific sense of timelessness. His images – whether of Iceland’s wild unpredictable natural habitats, China’s bleak urbanscape, or the grand colonial heritage structures of Calcutta and Bombay – all produce a pregnant moment of silence that resonates with the weight of frequently unnoticed details.
Now based in France, where he originally spent five years working as an agricultural labourer for a wine producer while fixing his house and studio, Taylor has concentrated exclusively on his personal photography for the last sixteen years. He has held critically acclaimed (solo and group) exhibitions in Paris, Arles, London, Beijing, Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta.