Mindful Documentation

“Traces of beauty exist everywhere around us,” says Mark Forbes (b. 1980), an award-winning photographer recognised for atmospheric images of streets and urban landscapes. The following series, captured using medium format film, has evolved over the past three years, coinciding with an interest mindfulness and meditation. “Using film forces me to pre-visualise the image, and be more present in the scene that I am looking to document,” he reflects.

Bright yellow umbrellas, coral staircases and glowing windows are just some of the subjects to consider in Beautiful Solitude. Immortalised through careful framing, they demonstrate Forbes’ strong understanding of colour. Pops of orange, purple, green and red bring the subjects to life. “The scenes depicted in this series can be found just around the corner in all of our daily lives,” Forbes continues. “Many people may not see the beauty in the ordinary, either being too busy or caught up in their daily hustle. Sometimes all we need is the time and space – physical and emotional – to be able to pause to experience them.”

Melbourne-based Forbes selects spaces which are often empty and devoid of human presence: photo booths, laundrettes, phone boxes, parked cars. “This series asks the viewer to stop for a few minutes and soak in the details that can go unseen in everyday life. While they contain the traces of people that have come before, it is the absence of anyone recognisable in the images that allows us to contemplate and appreciate the concept of beautiful solitude.”



Image Credits: All courtesy Mark Forbes.
1. Midnight fairytale, Melbourne, Australia, 2019
2. Open all hours, Melbourne, Australia, 2019
3. Tan lines, Melbourne, Australia, 2019
4. Pantone steps, Melbourne, Australia, 2019
5. Leave a light on, Sydney, Australia, 2018
6. Dusk, Melbourne, Australia, 2019
7. Fototessera, Treviso, Italia, 2018