Maximo Park singer Paul Smith showcases photos

PHOTOGRAPHS showing life on the road captured on a Polaroid camera by a top band’s frontman have gone on display.

Maximo Park singer Paul Smith at his photographic exhibition

PHOTOGRAPHS showing life on the road captured on a Polaroid camera by a top band’s frontman have gone on display.

Maximo Park’s Paul Smith has taken thousands of pictures while on tour with the band, which are displayed in his first book “Thinking in Pictures”.

But last night fans were given a showing of the photographs at an exhibition held at Digitalab, in Stepney Bank, Newcastle.

The handpicked images were taken as Paul and the band toured the world and will be displayed at Digitalab until April.

Former art student Paul, who is originally from Billingham, near Stockton, said: “As a musician I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world. While I was away I took lots of pictures and each photograph carries a memory of where I was at that time.

“Over the course of the five years I had taken all these pictures and one day I asked myself what I could do with them.

“When you have enough songs you put an album out, so I decided when I had enough pictures I’d put a book out.”

Paul, a former student at Newcastle University, released his book on the same day he released his debut solo album, Margins.

The book contains 74 handpicked images chosen by him, as well as a copy of his album.

Last night Paul was at Digitalab to sign copies of the book for his fans.

A selection of the original photographs taken by the singer will be displayed in the photo lab, alongside others, which have been enlarged and printed by staff at the centre.

The blown-up pictures will be available to buy until the end of the exhibition.

Paul said: “I didn’t know how the Polaroid pictures would turn out when they were blown up, but they look really nice and I’m really happy with the exhibition.

“The book is organised into four sections, shape, text, place, and sky, and the exhibition is organised in the same way.”

Paul said his band mates enjoy his photography work. He said: “The band like what I do. Before sound checks, I would often come back with lots of pictures and they seemed really happy about what I’d done.”

Lab manager Jeff Heads, from Digitalab, received a copy of Paul’s book and decided to approach him to see if he wanted to display his images at an exhibition in the centre’s gallery.

Jeff, who has enlarged, printed and displayed the pictures, said: “It’s really good for us to have somebody with a high profile down here. The exhibition is something a bit different and it’s great to get a different type of customers through the door.”

Anyone wishing to see the exhibition or buy copies of the enlarged Polaroid photographs can go into Digitalab Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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