28 July - 30 August 2018: Floral Portraits, Joe Cornish Galleries, Northallerton
An exhibition of new work from my passionate involvement with Thorp Perrow Arboretum. In the last 5 years my relationship with the arboretum has developed to the point where it really is my second home. During this period, I've made more than 150 visits and enjoyed over 700 hours there with my large format camera, shooting exclusively on 5"x4" transparency film.
The current exhibition reveals a small section of that broader work, concentrating exclusively on flowers, their remarkable diversity and individual characteristics. The selected images do not encompass the huge range of flowers that can be seen at Thorp Perrow, they are simply my most-loved genera and species.
My approach to floral studies is similar to any portrait photographer, in that I aim to capture the subject at their finest, in their natural environment and with favourable lighting. For me, this usually entails shooting within a couple of hours of sunrise when the flowers are in prime condition and before the wind rises. My ideal weather conditions are gentle overnight rain followed by the faintest trace of early morning sun, but if I find these elements together with the perfect subject then I do consider it a real privilege!
I hope to be at the gallery for significant periods over the next 5 weeks to meet and talk with people, so if you are able to visit the exhibition and would like to meet me there, please contact me via my website link.
July 2016: Portfolio Additions
At long last, I've added some new images to the Portfolio section here, perhaps unsurprisingly more work from Thorp Perrow. Although my photography does take me to other places, TP for me is not simply about photography, it's about peace, tranquillity and contemplation. That's why I feel compelled to visit so often and I hope some of these sentiments are reflected in my work there. However, I've recently been looking through a large backlog of work in other locations and have resolved to set myself the task of adding a number of other portfolios when time allows, including:
Ancient Cherry at Thorp Perrow
A Mile and Within (all less than 1 mile from my home)
This involves a huge effort in terms of selection, scanning and post processing, so it will no doubt be a long process!
May 2016: Thorp Perrow: "Meet The Photographer Day"
Having enjoyed over 100 visits and an estimated 500 hours during the past 2 years wandering through the arboretum with my large format camera - mostly in complete isolation - I decided it was time to share some of my obsessions with the more usual visitors to Thorp Perrow, hence the publicity day on the Bank Holiday Weekend. It was a great opportunity to prepare and present some of my newer work and to get feedback from everyone, so many thanks to all of you who came over to the Bandstand to see us. Fortunately, the weather was exceptionally kind to us so June and I had a very relaxing day in the sun - wet and/or windy would have been a disaster in trying to display 20 large prints in the open, so I need an alternative strategy for the next event!
March/April 2016: Thorp Perrow Ancient Cherry
Another project somehow materialised recently after I met with Faith, the curator at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, to have a look at an ancient cherry tree in the parkland area. It's officially classified as the second oldest/largest cherry in the country and the aim is to document it's life - in reality, a very small part of it of course - in words by Faith and images by me. I'm not entirely sure how this will evolve, but from the tree's anatomy and my photographs to date it's already clear that anthropomorphic projection will be feature strongly in my visual interpretations. My initial thoughts were to shoot entirely in B&W, but the wonderful hues in the bark are difficult to ignore, so much so that I've been duplicating most shots with both B&W and colour transparency film.
February 2016: Home Page
A long-overdue change to the home page photo this month. This small group of hedgerow trees that I always refer to as "The Ash Family", mother, father and daughter, is less than a mile from my home. I visit them frequently to photograph under different conditions as part of a longer term mini-project that I'm increasingly aware I need to dedicate more time to sooner rather than later - before it's too late. The vast majority of hedgerow trees in this part of North Yorks. are native ash and it's difficult to visualise the landscape without them, though this will be the case if ash dieback has the devastating effect that's forecast. It's not reached this far yet, but it's getting closer. Ironically, I've always preferred the form and character of these trees when not in leaf, but it's sad to think they may be like that permanently if they succumb. Time to photograph them more frequently in leaf I think.
May 2015: Thorp Perrow
After a hectic month at The Station, it was a very sad occasion indeed when I had to dismantle the exhibition. Richmond had, in a very short time, become my home and I can't think of another venue where I'd rather display my work. It wasn't all sadness though, as by the end of May many of the photographs were installed in the Tea Room at Thorp Perrow, where they'll remain for the immediate future.
April 2015: Richmond Station
Well, somehow it's all come together on time and my first major solo exhibition, "A Year at Thorp Perrow", is on show at The Station, Richmond, North Yorkshire until 13th May 2015, as shown on my Home page.
After the first week, I am completely overwhelmed by the positive response from so many visitors. I've decided to spend much more time there than I had initially planned, mainly because I've found it both very rewarding and relaxing just talking to visitors after the hectic and stressful times of the past few months when I've been preparing for the exhibition.
I still have much work to complete here on my website which, in the immediate future, will remain limited in terms of the number of portfolios and images presented. Unfortunately, shooting with large format film means that my work is not automatically available as digital images without first drum scanning, spotting, etc., a somewhat lengthy procedure, but one that I have come to love (almost!) as I know it is the best means to achieve high quality prints. I shall add further images when I have time to scan and process more transparencies/negatives.
In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the small number of images here and that you may have the opportunity to visit one of my exhibitions during April/May 2015.