The Photo-Diaries of Mick Williamson

Set of candles on sale


Table game


Arm feeding an elephant


Table with a half pint of beer and an ashtray


EXHIBITION: The Photo-Diaries of Mick Williamson

Exhibition for Photomonth celebrating the work of leading photographer and long serving undergraduate course leader Mick Williamson.

Date: 25 September 2018

The Photo-Diaries of Mick Williamson is an exhibition celebrating the professional and personal photographic practice of Mick Williamson who worked at The Cass from 1972 – 2018. The exhibition, which runs from the 8 October to 1 November at The Cass Atrium in Goulston Street, forms part of East End Photomonth 2018.

Mick’s early photographic practice was centred on medium format landscapes, portraits, still lifes and commissioned work. However, in 1974 having started a family, he acquired an Olympus half-frame camera, which allowed him a looser approach to family photographs and freed him from the “expectations of professionalism”. Since then, Mick has photographed all aspects of his daily life. He is never seen without his half-frame, which has become almost an extension of his body and he rarely looks through the viewfinder as he is now so in tune with this small camera. He has gradually built up an immense body of work, shooting 2-3 films a day with 72 images per film. Selected photographs from this long-form project are included in the Cass East End Archive,

The private view on 5 October will both launch the exhibition and act as a celebration of Mick’s working life and that of David Hobson from the Cass Foundation area who left this year after a similarly long relationship with the school. A large audience of students and colleagues past and present are expected.

There will be a public talk about Mick's work on 23 October arranged and supported by London Independent Photography (LIP ). On the 1st November from 5pm till 8pm there will be a closing event where guests can hear Mick talk informally about his practice and  project

About the Photo Diaries of Mick Williamson

(Extract from the introduction by Ian Robertson for The Cass East End Archive)  

"(Williamson's) working method means that his subject matter often exists on the margins both literally and symbolically, where ordinary, routine and frequently domestic events are snatched from the periphery of vision and brought back to the viewer’s attention through the act of photography. It is clear that Williamson’s photographs are not part of the current fashion; they are not staged, not digitally manipulated, they are conversant with the notion of the de-centred author but it is not as a result of the recognition of the determinism of the social or the role of language that give the images their distance.

The images are very beautiful, sometimes fragments, the sense of something withdrawn, or glimpsed in the passing, time passing, incidents that summon up the whole, it reminds us that the photograph always opens up a space between the object and its referent. Williamson’s work requires of us the capacity for attention, attentiveness, awareness, care; they generate small acts of kindness in us and in language. This work is a celebration of the passing of the world, of the journey taken…

A lot of the images taken may never be seen by Mick or by anyone else, they constitute almost a conceptual component to the work. Merleau-Ponty indicates that we have already met time on our way to subjectivity, we are not just thrown into the stream of time, we make it. It is the essence of time to be in the process of self- production and not to be completely constituted. It is that sense of a moment against a background of infinity that gives Williamson’s work its resonance.”

 Image: Heart ( Detail), from Photo-Diaries of Mick Williamson

girl draws heart in sand on beach with finger

The Photo-Diaries of Mick Williamson 

8 October - 1 November 2018

The Cass Atrium Gallery, Goulston Street

Open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 11am-4pm 


Preview and Celebration Event: 5 October 2018 5.30pm - 8.30pm


Closing Event/ Artist Talk: 1 November 2018 5.30pm-8.00pm

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