McConnell is a highly respected photographer, known for great technical ability. However, in this new book has reworked his studies as defiantly low-tech monochromes, with an exaggerated emphasis on reprographic redundancy, and a pleasure in the failures of vintage reprographic techniques. It’s as much, if not more, about photography and print themselves, as it is about its subjects.
McConnell has always had a poetic sensibility, situated in alignment with acute skills of documentary observation. Here, he transcends documentary orderliness, gathering his images into a darkened, narrative unity, so that they become servants of an ominous, low-lying mood. It’s the disturbed calm of heavy, electrically charged, pre-storm weather, or the ambiguous twilight of the awakening reveller – the reveller who does not know if the birds are singing for morn, or for eve.