Review: Tom Pullen’s ‘Because I Cannot See’

As our first exhibition as part of this year’s Brighton Photo Fringe comes to a close, photographer and writer, Alexander Norton sent us his review of Tom Pullen’s ‘Because I Cannot See‘…

I am instantly drawn to a man with a tidy moustache. His poem echoing around the other voices on show. When all played together a swarm of echoing chants fill your ears. The photographs are more prominent than the other components down to their use of colour. The colourless image elevates up and down like a mountain edge as you climb it – mirroring the hands that fumble over their noses and eyes. It is this very experience that is most important in the work. That is the first aim.

MiniClick/Brighton Photo Fringe images

I get the feeling the stories are not as important as the point that they are making them. The process of doing this becomes more important. Their stories act like the cherry on top of an already made bakewell tart. The base is created by Tom Pullen, facilitating the experience focusing on representation as his primary aim. A rigid structure is formed around the subjects so they can tell their stories in a 5 minute window. The nine people chosen use it as a platform to discuss their blindness. Their blindness is not a hinderance but a hurdle to walk over to continue living. They work in partnership and occupy themselves as anyone else would. They are normal after all. What might feel like a non statement says so much about a collection of people with the heart and desire to defy the odds.

MiniClick/Brighton Photo Fringe images

Tom remains a listener and documents as if he’s not there, quietly listening. Their representation is in Tom’s hands but really the subjects are in control. They have a 5 minute window to present themselves as the personality they are. They are wonderful people.

It is set up for everyones enjoyment and compatibility. Young, old, blind and the regular Joe coming in from the street. It is an exhibition that does not exclude, but invites people in with positive and open arms.

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