My work refreshes and rejuvenates me – and I want to pass that feeling that on to you. Maybe a tranquil dawn seascape or a zesty lemon will resonate with you, or perhaps a formal photo of King’s College Chapel or an image of a library book spine. No matter which of the images are your favourites, I hope they bring you a sense of revitalisation, of being uplifted, of enthusiasm and gusto.
Over twenty images and two books have been shortlisted for photographic and literary awards including the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Historic Photographer of the Year, International Photo Awards, and the Rubery Book Award. Works have been invited for exhibitions and are held in private collections around the world.
In essence, I paint with my camera to revitalise memories.
An insatiable craving turns my lens to the bigger picture. While the camera is ordinarily an accurate recorder of a moment, I’m more interested in the memory of a moment rather than specifics — and as it turns out, my memories are more ephemeral than detailed. For example, when walking down a tree-lined pathway, I don’t remember the what the passersby, skateboarders, and cyclists were wearing or the location of each leaf on the tree — but I do remember the thick tree canopy that blocked out most of the light, creating a nurturing and protective tunnel outside of which the sunlight seemed blinding. It is the feeling of this location that I want to photograph, not its details.
In essence, I paint with my camera to revitalise memories. The images are made with slow shutter speeds (eg 2-4 sec) and intentional panning of the camera throughout the exposure. This “intentional camera movement” (or ICM photography) mimics the real world shapes that are to be emulated in an ephemeral fashion. Many of the final images are multiple exposures, which are composites like David Hockney’s “photographic drawings”, but with a play on movement and perspective.
When photographing botanical subjects with intentional camera movement, the resulting image includes the essence of the subject and also surrounding environment. A lemon in a bowl of fruit. A common dandelion at one with the grass. A daffodil in green fields under a blue sky. The images also mimic meaningful aspects of the botanical feature. For example, daffodil trumpets are enhanced to look like cellular ribosomes, which themselves can be directly affected by daffodil alkaloids thus slowing cancerous tumour growth. For another example, a dandelion is enhanced to look like the sun, towards which it so emphatically reaches.
When photographing architecture and famous sights with intentional camera movement, the result often includes distortion and bending of otherwise straight building edges, turrets, finials, and the like. Normally these perceived distortions are corrected by our clever brains as we turn our heads this way and that to take in all angles of a building. However, I challenge the premise that a camera must mimic reality, and instead let it mimic the abstract and ephemeral nature of our memories.
artist’s statement – stills
My work leans towards the ‘significant form’ idea from the 1920s Bloomsbury Group’s Clive Bell – that a good work of art is so defined by its ability to provoke ‘aesthetic emotion’ in the viewer and has little, if anything, to do with subject identification nor representation. I like to take things out of context to lead the viewer towards the expressivity of details and aesthetic lines. I investigate the concept of emotion conveyed by subtle differences in weight, texture, and strength of the elemental line – examining emotion and simplicity within textures, shadows, spaces, and details. For example, this interior of an Organ Pipe at King’s College Chapel is one of my favourite photos.