According to physicist Jack Scudder, portals do exist. "They're places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from…
Developing a book in times of Covid-19 is tricky and was something I had no idea of when, a year ago, a publisher in Marrakech (Morocco) offered me a book…
I'm delighted that nine of my photos have been included in the Sahara Schrift, the very first issue of a magazine published by the Sahara Society of the Netherlands. The…
Recently I was delighted to be the subject of Catherine Gates’ latest blog post on Architectural Comment: Touch the Ground Vicariously. A trained architect, Catherine’s writing is highly relevant to…
A talk about my work “Hiding the Wound: Homage to Mr. Freud” was held recently as part of the Coming Out exhibition at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery. It was given by the very eloquent Andrea Bonnell and attended by a lively audience of staff members and general public.
I made this piece back in 1979 in response to Freud’s implication that women are “imperfect” and therefore inferior to men. Here, the act of sewing was not only a light-hearted reaction to the female experience of male supremacy but also, and more seriously, a symbolic surgical suture representing the desire for sexual autonomy. But that was then and, I wondered, how would people react nowadays to “Hiding the Wound”?
Andrea’s talk was deservedly a huge success and was followed by some very thought provoking discussions. Some people even took the trouble to leave written comments to be passed on to me. Here’s a selection: “Thank you for being bold and expressive. And for challenging constructs which pass others by. Your works seems even more relevant today and it feels like something which is essential to revisit periodically to redefine its meaning and relevance in the movement.”and “Simplicity and ‘non-drama’ make the piece resonate because female sexuality should not be an issue, nor a trophy for men.”
This is where I will be in three weeks and three days time: back in Orkney where I’m having an exhibition at the excellent Northlight Gallery in Stromness. It’s called “Lost In Time”, a title which describes how I experience photography where losing myself, all sense of time and my bearings are essential elements in the intuitive process of finding the unexpected. This show juxtaposes journeys in the Middle East and North Africa with those made in Ireland and Orkney. In other words: places that either very, very dry or extremely wet: the Sahara meets bog.
Every photographer should also be a beachcomber. Or a regular visitor to flea markets. Or a connoisseur of auction houses. Because everywhere, chance finds and hidden treasures are literally waiting to be discovered. My favourite example is this prehistoric implement, which I found washed up on an Irish beach.
And all you need to do is train your eye.
This approach can equally be applied to photography, where you recognise the exceptional rather than attempt to create it from scratch or through applying pre-existing expectations.
It’s simply a case of you will know it when you find it… (more…)
Recently I was sent a flyer for a cloud photo competition to be judged by the legendary Cloud Appreciation Society. A great choice of subject matter because Orkney – where I’m based at present – has enormous skies and dramatic weather. So, instead of pointing my camera horizontally or towards the ground, I have started looking upwards, an experience which is quite literally dizzying. And, with my head in the clouds, anything is possible. To quote the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz: “My cloud photographs are equivalents of my most profound life experiences, my basic philosophy of life. All art is an equivalent of the artist’s most profound life experiences.” (more…)
My travelling companion Alfie getting to grips with my brand new Fujifilm X-T2. The Fuji has received plenty of gold star reviews but – although that’s important – ultimately it all comes down to whether it sits comfortably in your hands and is in tune with your photographic desires. In other words: Can I make it sing for me? As of now, all the signs are positive and I can’t wait to start working with it! (more…)