Paul Baldesare is a London photographer whose work has been regularly published and exhibited and is in public and private collections. He has carried out several long term documentary projects since 1983 and received an Arts Council National Lottery Grant in 1997-8 to continue his English Carnival project.
"Many years ago I came across a book called 'A Day Off' by photographer Tony Ray Jones. One section, 'Summer Carnivals', shot in the 1960s, was a particular favourite. From 1992 I would go out, mostly at weekends, from May to September, photographing an assortment of carnivals from locations as wide afield as the West Country and East Anglia and all destinations in between.
For me, these events were full of cultural imagination and ritual contradictions. I was soon engrossed in a personal anthropological investigation into the minds and cultural life of a society that I really didn't understand. Having lived in London for most of my life I soon found that the economic and cultural life outside was very different."
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