While Reason Sleeps 2008-9

A series of photographs exploring the visual relationships between Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee, County Durham and surrounding housing. The photographs deliberately reference abstract art in their composition and use of colour as a way of reflecting on Pasmore’s involvement in the housing design and wider modernist project of Peterlee. The title is drawn from a quote by Pasmore in relation to abstract art.


“Today meaning dissolves in order to create new meaning and what is known becomes unknown. In art the peripheral images of thought and perception reappear as anonymous objects before which is always a question. While reason sleeps the symbol awakes.” The Image in Search of Itself. New Paintings 1969-71 Marlborough Fine Art exhibition catalogue


The work was originally exhibited at the DLI musuem Durham in February 2009. I would like to thank all the residents of Peterlee who helped with this work.

This work and related discussion was part of my practice based PhD (2012) which explored site specific art practice and sense of place in the context of Peterlee. I have spoken about this work at conferences nationally and it has been included in exhibitions reappraising British Modernism. 




In  Place of Architecture ( Bonnington Art Gallery Nottingham (2015) Link

The Late Shows Hatton Gallery Newcastle as part of the reappraisal of Pasmore's work on the basic design course (2015)

DLI Museum Durham Feb - March 2009 link to an article about the work


Photography Domesticity and the Planned Environment; Exploring Peterlee Newtown. Michele Allen in Conversation with Elaine Harwood (Historic England) as part of the conference In Place of Architecture (Nottingham 2015)


Postcards from Peterlee as part of Framing Time and Place; Photographic Repeats and Returns organised by Land Water and the Visual Arts research group University of Plymouth (2009).