Many moons ago (well, a few), I was asked by a careers advisor what I wanted to do when I left school. I told him I wanted to be a war photographer. He promptly told me to “think about getting a proper job”.
Although I did not become a war photographer, the conversation with the careers advisor did spur me on to apply to art college, where I fell in love with the magic of the darkroom and the studio.
Since then I have worked in commercial and portrait studios, as a medical photographer, and a mini-lab supervisor before I retrained and qualified as a journalist. Journalism offered me the opportunity to enhance my short filmmaking skills but for a while I lost touch with my individual photography.
It was while I was working as a journalist in Cornwall that the seed for my alternative photography company ShutterPod was born. This project has enabled me to continue to grow my passion for historic and camera-less techniques, not only through my own work but by providing workshops for the public, and health and social care support groups. I even ran a successful Crowdfund campaign that led to a mini alt-photo ‘festival’ Phototasia as part of Newquay Art 8 2014. I have focussed on cyanotype, lumen and instant film techniques as part of this.
My work with ShutterPod has been mainly self-taught, but I also use social media to connect to other photographers and follow a number of blogs and websites to stay informed.
I have made a number of short films; in particular, I worked with Cornwall Crafts Association to create a film for its WWI Centenary exhibition at the National Trust’s Trelissick House. This film, showcasing a number of participating artists at work, was also aired during 2016 at Trelowarren House and Truro Cathedral.
Along with this, I have set up a project focussing on people and their dogs, which I hope to continue to pursue while studying my MA. I would like to produce a book to help raise funds for local dog charities from this work.
In 2017, I was commissioned by Exeter University’s Environmental Science Institute and Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to highlight the work to develop software to support bees via the faming community. I also took part in a three-day residency at Hestercombe in Somerset to consider how visual artists can contribute to its development.
In 2018 I was shortlisted for the Eden Project/FoAM Residency: Invisible
Worlds (2018): edenproject.com/visit/whats-on/invisible-worlds-launch-week
My interest in nature and the human impact on the environment is however the motivation behind my MA plans. I aim to produce interpretations of our world using nature’s bounty as a means to encourage better care-taking of our planet.