Close to Home: Between the Tides at Vortigern Gallery, Margate

Close to Home: Between the Tides was exhibited at the Vortigern Gallery in Margate throughout March-April 2016. It featured my work made at the extraordinary walpole bay tidal pool, sited close to my home on the coastal Isle of Thanet, UK.

This pool, some four acres in size, provides a free and democratic space for people to gather, to swim, to forage and fish. In my practice of working locally, I adapt the traditions and performance of earlier commercial seaside/beach photographers and in doing so locates myself right at the water’s edge. This is slow photography – analogue picture making – which necessitates a relationship between the seabather and the photographer. Through this series I'm attempting to examine how the local can provide rich seams of imagery or produce what neo-romantics such as Vaughan Williams have championed as the ‘vitally parochial’.

We Are Here: The Best Of Us Commission

In 2015 I was commissioned by the extraordinary organisation People United to create a portrait series for the large Big Local / Best of Use project taking part on the Newington housing estate in Ramsgate, Kent, UK. My brief was to identify residents who were valued by the community and recognised as enhancing the lives of others. To begin with I was regarded with suspicion as I wondered about the estate - and why not?  I wasn't known to the residents and  I would be wondering  around, camera bag on shoulder, seemingly asking obscure questions to random passersby. Through attending community events I became less of an intruder and eventually had some beautiful encounters - most tellingly when I asked who was enhancing community life on the estate the same names were coming up time and time again. I had my subjects and now all I needed to do was to convince them to let me photograph them. The bewilderment as I asked to photograph each subject was humbling. Their contributions to the community was never seen by them as 'worthy' or 'doing good deeds' - it is just what they do / what they are.

light waves exhibition

Curators' Steve Ibb and Franny Flowers invited me to submit work to the Light Waves exhibition at Resort Studios in Cliftonville, Margate. The exhibition centered around photography and the abstract - whilst this far from typifies my practice I felt that the earlier series' such as palimpsest and light  fitted the brief. I really value the gallery at Resort' and Ibb & Flowers curated the show (which also included work by Rob Ball, Brian Eno, Jason Evans and Rachel Wilberforce) with terrific sensitivity and welcomed restraint.

Exhibition runs until October 11th 2015. 



AHRC commission a virtual exhibition of early seaside photography

I was delighted to be commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to curate an online exhibition as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations. Here I explore the earliest forms of seaside photography - the ambrotype and tintype. Accompanying each image is a little text and it provides a start point in thinking how these modest, demotic portraits often provided the first photographic representations of the family at leisure. 

Beyond the View: Reframing Early Commercial Seaside Photography