Interview with Paul Marsland for 2021 ILFORD CCP Salon

Photography by Paul Marsland

Paul Marsland is a Melbourne based photographer who uses medium and large format cameras and specialises in environmental portraits and landscape photography. Paul exhibited Footscray in the 2020 ILFORD CCP Salon.

Untitled, The Faltering Repair (2021)

What's your name and background?

Paul Marsland: My name is Paul Marsland and I am a photographer living and working in Melbourne, Australia. I have a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Photography from RMIT University, Melbourne. I am interested in long form projects exploring themes of family and relationships.

Is this the first time you have participated in Salon, and what is the story behind your submitted works?

PM: This is the second year I am participating in Salon. The works are taken from the series THE FALTERING REPAIR, a series of images exploring themes of estrangement, inclusiveness and the process of conciliation.

What inspires you to take photos?

PM: I really like taking photos, the actual experience of doing it. After seeing the work of Matthew Stanton at the CCP I was inspired to set up a colour darkroom. I am inspired by artists who explore emotional worlds; filmmakers like Robert Bresson, Eric Rohmer & Kelly Reichardt and photographers like Nan Goldin & Lise Sarfati.

Untitled, The Identified Patient (2011)

How do you prefer to shoot and using what genre of instrument?

PM: I shoot portraits and landscapes, mostly in available light and using medium & large format film cameras. I like composing images on the ground glass and hand printing photographs in a traditional colour darkroom. I love the tonal rendition of large format cameras and the chromogenic colour space of colour negative film.

Has your use of social media changed or influenced the way that you create, share and view your work?

PM: Social media has made it a lot easier to discover new photographers and connect with people. Both of the works entered in Salon were produced with the assistance of people I reached out to online. I am very grateful to Les Walkling, Sandra Barnard and Peter Hatzipavlis who have all been very generous in sharing their knowledge with me.

Untitled, The Identified Patient (2011)

Which is stronger to you the influence of people or the influence of place?

PM: Primarily my work is influenced by people and how they feel about something or someone. Sometimes, a place is about a person's position in relation to others. The site of my landscapes is often chosen as it represents the absence of a person.

If you could quiz one photographer about their method, who would it be?

PM: I would love to spend some time in the darkroom with Gregory Halpern. I like his open-ended narratives and his approach of printing contact sheets, cutting them up into little proofs and displaying them over time to get a feel for which photos sit well together.

Or perhaps a day in the studio setting up for Yousuf Karsh. Apparently he attached a string to each stand so the assistant knew where to place the lights for the correct exposure!

Paul's Identified Patient series was focused on exploring the ways damaging relationships can pass down through family histories, and the restorative changes we can make to reverse that cycle.

For more of Paul's work visit or follow Paul on Instagram @treehouse_cinema.

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