Sunday, 2 December 2018

OUT OF THE WOODS OF THOUGHT

(c) Rob Hudson


HUG NUMBER ONE:
This was me hugging myself for booking a place on Eventbrite for the talk to be given by the members of the Inside the Outside collective (plus Lynda Laird) at The Argentea Gallery in Birmingham on 1st December.

HUG NUMBER TWO:
Was for Jacqui Booth as we met for the first time in quite a while at Birmingham New Street Station. She too had booked a place on the talk. We walked to the gallery and enjoyed a nice chat over a pint and lunch at a pub just round the corner from St Paul's Square. Jacqui has strong connections with the group having exhibited with them at their show in Nottingham a few years ago.

HUG NUMBERS THREE, FOUR FIVE AND SIX:
These were for Rob Hudson, Steve Segasby, Al Brydon and Joe Wright respectively as we entered the gallery and then at Rob's suggestion, a GROUP HUG with the all of them followed by a kiss and a squeeze from the lovely Jennie Anderson, the owner of the Gallery. 

HUG NUMBER SEVEN:
This was for the work on display. It shocked me how good it was and how emotional I felt looking at it. First, there were Al Brydon's brilliant solargraphs which fizzed and blazed on the wall. It was interesting later when a member of the audience raised a question which prompted a discussion about how the works on display spoke for themselves but also how they told a story as the speakers revealed more about their creation during their individual talks. Al spoke particularly about how fascinated he was about how his solargraphs represented periods of time in his life and made him wonder how he and his life had changed over that period. As he spoke, I looked again at the work on the wall behind him and on the screen and they had now become infused with a deeper significance.

Then Joseph Wright's series, "The Floods", dripping with mournful tone and form. The richness of the wash of colour which Joe achieves is incredible. An audience member also complimented Joe on the beauty of his book making and Joe spoke with great humility and love about how much of himself is invested in each volume. I am the grateful and proud recipient of a book of photographs made by Joe and can attest to the love and care put into making it.

The series of photographs by the lovely Brian David Stevens is desperately moving. There is a terribly sad photograph showing a single BT telephone box which is a moving metaphor for the end of the line reached by the many people who have used the cliffs at Beachy Head to end their lives. The irony is that the image is beautifully shot - it provokes a similar wrenching sense of loss as those taken by Chloe Dewe Matthews in her "series "Shot at Dawn" although perhaps more immediate as the deaths at Beachy Head are so recent and continue to occur.

Lynda Laird introduced herself and confirmed that she would like to collaborate on something with me which thrills me beyond measure as I adored her incredible images printed on silk showing the shots of old military bunkers and the surrounding landscape of trees awash with bleeding red. These pictures are truly astonishing but more amazement hit me as I wondered at Rob Hudson's photographs from his series "Mametz Wood", an eerie world of shape and texture which I feel lucky to have visited twice with Rob. His work is magical and poetic.

Then the fearsome set by Steve Segasby, "Malevolence" with its frightening blotches of black which, in the same week we lost Nicolas Roeg, call to mind Roeg's own wonderful cinematography and imagery in "Don't Look Now" although the stains are red in that film - maybe the black blood in "Psycho" is more relevant.There is a strong link here with Al Brydon's bubbles and stains caused by rain leaking into his beer cans containing the strips of film.

Then, finally, wonderful work by Tom Wilkinson, JM Golding and Guy Dickinson which stirs the soul and delights the eye and will prompt me to look at their work in more detail.

In the end, a great five hours in Birmingham ending with a mad dash for the train and a sound sleep all the way to Euston and then home to tell Jane all about it.

A great gallery, a great show and only an hour and a half from London - it continues until 21st December  - DON'T MISS!!

Monday, 12 November 2018

MEGAN BENDALL - A New Landscape

I read the sad story of Megan's mother. Sad? No, that is the wrong word. There was a sadness about it but I did not come away feeling down. - I felt uplifted, I suppose because Megan's reaction to her mother's illness and death was a positive one. In her sadness, she had, at the same time found that her photography became a means of expressing her grief, her love of her mother and her family. In this respect, we had a connection because I could have succumbed quite easily to my illness but I found that, weirdly, photography saved me and this positivism has led to other projects involving the past and family.

Anyway, enough of all that.


I contacted Megan first in January 2018 through Twitter and I looked up her website and particularly liked her photographs of Colin the Cello maker which were taken with such care and love and reminded me of the film "Un Couer en Hiver" and the similar approach by the director, Claude Sautet, to the violin making by Daniel Autieul. They spoke of a deep respect for her fellow humans and their endeavours. Then in October 2018, having forgotten my original approach, I sent another email this time prompted by her extraordinary series of images of and about her mother.


Megan travelled down from Cheltenham for the shoot and I met her at Brighton Station. She has a very open countenance and we started chatting immediately and that basically continued for the rest of the day. We talked about all sorts of things but mainly the past and our respective mothers. Megan is young but I do feel that our future is in good hands with such sensitive souls having an influence even if those hands have been tied by the Brexit situation - now that is sad. 
 

Megan and I moved around the house and she took photographs in various rooms, each one lit up by her charm and her warmth. I feel certain that Megan is going to succeed in all she does because she is aware of how little time we have and she has the capacity to fill that time with her talent for looking into peple's lives and telling their stories with pictures of them and their environment.


One only has to look at the photograph of her mother in her portfolio on her website to understand the heart that beats inside Megan.

WEBSITE: https://www.meganbendall.com/

Friday, 2 November 2018

ANDY O'HARA - Just as the sun was rising


In the early days of "Over the Hill", I would approach just about anyone who held a camera but then this began to change and I only contacted those photographers whose work I particularly liked. Now and again, I would be asked by a  photographer if he or she could photograph me and this made me feel uncomfortable because, what if I didn't like their work? I would have to say that and who was I to comment on their work in this way? 

Well, this happened recently during the course of the "Over Hills and Seas" exhibition when, one day, Andy O'Hara and his partner, Eleni, came to look at the show and I fell into conversation with them during which I was asked if I would be happy to accept an approach from a photographer. I explained my position and asked if they had a card and I would look at the work and then contact them if I was interested. I looked at Andy's work on his website and the portraits had a quietness and a power that I warmed to but, more than that, I thought back to our brief meeting and recalled Andy's quiet reserve and I felt that this revealed in his photographs a depth of thought and sensitivity that could be the foundation of an interesting collaboration.And so this is how Andy, his camera and I ended up together at Devils Dyke at sunrise one brisk and sunny morning in early November.

And these excellent pictures are the result.

The one above was truly collaborative. I suggested that I run and Andy went with that but, when I received the set of images from Andy, I wasn't convinced that they all worked - as I said - what do I know? But this one does because Andy made it work. First of all, he preferred black and white which gives the shot a certain authenticity and I love the folds in the coat and, in particular, I love the strangeness of a guy running across the grass in this landscape. Is he running from something? Is there fear in his face or possibly a smile? Maybe he is running purely for the sheer joy of it.

Then the others below. Simple. Quiet. Deep. They come from Andy's soulful look at the world and from the almost immediate connection we made with each other as Andy climbed into the car and we began to chat. 


Andy said at the time that I looked like a crime writer in some of these but my thought on receiving the photographs was that I resembled more a windswept Irish poet. I think we were both wrong because, when I look at them now, I really do feel that they are the genuine article - portraits of me, Tim Andrews.

This one recalls to mind the shot taken by Antonio Olmos in the long grass in 2015 and I told Andy of that day prompted by his direction that l walk through the long grass specifically for this shot. As always, I yap away on these occasions about previous shoots and I trust that my companion doesn't mind. After all, they are, every one of them, part of my photographic family. Andy became a very worthy member that day. The photographs above and below are indisputable proof of that.


After the last shot, we both fancied a hot drink but the cafe had not yet opened so we drove back into town and Andy invited me in for a cup of tea. He hurried on ahead to warn Eleni who was in the middle of ironing but was very welcoming. Tea was served in Beatle mugs and I discovered that Eleni was a great fan so there followed a lot of Beatle talk. Eventually, I took my leave and shook Andy by his hand thanking him for the morning. I drove home thinking that all one needs is love - it's easy. All together now...everybody.......



Wednesday, 31 October 2018

MIRJA PALJAKKA - A New Beginning Part Two


My body, draped over a rock on the beach, lit by a gentle sun. It is part of the landscape but no more natural than the rock itself. There is a small glimpse of the sea beyond my knees and the sky is brushed with pastel blues, pinks and greys. My skin is soft and fleshy and warm on the slab of grey. Only a person who loves nature as Mirja does, could compose such an image. She has placed on the rock, a stone in the shape of a heart but there is only the romance of the natural that is present. We are friends with a single aim - to understand how friendship can develop from names printed on a computer to our eventual meeting and the search for a picture or an album which will explain a mutual love of humanity and the natural world.


A shower of movement. Me on the edge of the sea in the early morning - why do l love photographs like these? They are like paintings with different shades of blue topped by the creamy sky. Who is this person and why is he here? What does he think about? Scratches of darkness and light slap against his shadowy body - who is he?



The odd-shaped man reappears. In 1983, we went on holiday to Minorca. our villa overlooked a cliff and one day I went off exploring and Jane took a photograph of me in the distance, staring out to sea and my shape with pot belly was very similar to this. However, in 2018, Mirja has composed a more interesting image with a little troupe of equally odd-shaped beings standing on guard with me on the edge of the land.


I like the incongruity of this photograph. The runner and I are there for different purposes but for the same reason. We want solitude to do what we want to do. The body is in the same position as in the first photograph above except that the angle of the camera this time reveals more. A beautifully composed shot.

A gaze away into the light. Relaxed and easy as Mirja circles me and examines me.


Go on, dive in. I couldn't but I liked putting my feet in the sea one more time before winter comes.....




A selection ending with the beginning - no nerves, just Mirja and I taking photographs - as easy as pie. We did it but I felt that it was unfinished business and that there is more to come.

WEBSITE: https://mirjapaljakka.weebly.com/

Sunday, 28 October 2018

MIRJA PALJAKKA - A New Beginning Part One

"Catastrophe! Catastrophe!" These were the first words uttered by Mirja as she and her son Aaro  arrived at our front door on 16th October 2018. They had booked our basement rooms on AirBnB and, having taken the taxi from the taxi rank near the coach station, they had paid the driver on arrival at our house and then watched him whizz off with a holdall, containing their laptop, still on the back seat. I drove them to the taxi rank and from there made several telephone calls and tracked down the driver who said he had the bag and would drop it off later. We drove back home, relieved at having avoided that catastrophe only for me to run into two pedestrians who thought it might be a good idea to cross the road at the same time as I was turning into it. I was horrified and pulled over but, according to Mirja and Aaro, they just carried on walking and so clearly were unhurt. Nothing like a few dramas to welcome Mirja back again to UK.  

We dined out at the Fish & Chip restaurant on the corner of Regency Square and I attempted to engage the handsome Aaro in conversation. It wasn't easy for either of us but I saw enough to know that, once relaxed, Aaro like his sister before him, would begin not only to enjoy himself but also that people he met would also enjoy talking to him.

We were all pretty tired so they bade me goodnight and Mirja and I agreed to meet in the morning at 6.30 for our shoot.

Morning. 17th October. Warmer than is usual at this time of year. l shower and get dressed and wait. There is something very magical about meeting someone before sunrise and then going off on a little adventure together. I have this thought - what if Mirja has overslept and we miss the morning light? The clock strikes 6.30. I hear a sound followed by a quiet tap on the door. Mirja wants to talk. She is excited but I put my finger to my lips and she stops but once we drive away, we both start chatting. We arrive at the beach at Southwick and Mirja adores the black shadows of the industrial buildings overlooking the sea. We disturb a couple in a parked van and they stop what they are doing and peer at us as if to say "What the fuck....? ".

We begin. A few shots clothed but nude after all the way after these. It feels right in these circumstances. Mirja directs. I make a few suggestions. She worries about me being cold and, eventually, I am cold. We bring it to an end. We flirt with the idea of swimming but it's just a bit too rough. And cold.  I dress and we go for breakfast at the beach cafe and talk thoroughly and urgently, both keen to catch up and say what we have been saving up to say. 

Later. I am tired and so Mirja and Aaro go exploring around Brighton. The Panel Discussion. I know Mirja is nervous but she knows what she is going to say and speaks, as always, from the heart and the applause is warm and well deserved. Rob Hudson has sent a message saying that he cannot come due to problems with the bloody railways. We try to call him as the talk begins but he is out shopping and doesn't answer. Mirja is disappointed but meeting Steve Segasby and Valda Bailey and the others makes up for it. Afterwards, Mirja, Aaro and I join Steve Segasby and his friend Angus Carlyle in the pub. Alex Bamford and Phil Blume join us later. I am so tired by then and, although happy to chat, after a few beers I am almost out for the count so much so that when I first began writing this piece, I had forgotten that Mirja and Aaro were even there. Mirja reminded me of this and of the stumble (my stumble) back to our house to Jane who had gone straight home after the Panel Discussion - I think!

The next day. We go to the Devil's Dyke and it blows them both away. Aaro is very taken by the scenery. I watch him walk over the grass and he looks so slim and handsome. We chat in the cafe while we wait for Mirja to finish photographing outside and I warm to him. He is decisive, personable and has a dry wit. He supports Manchester United but you can't have everything.

Goodbye. Again, Mirja and I hug goodbye at Brighton Station. Our time together is over but, in our hearts, we know that our friendship is stronger and we shall meet again. 

The Photographs. They arrive suddenly. l am transfixed. They are good. They are very good. I find I look at them as reminders of special moments working with Mirja. The time I spend with each photographer is unique. It has anticipation, excitement and connection. These images are evidence of that and it was a time that was special - the photographs are the proof. Mirja knows this and sends through an assortment that tells a story of a burgeoning friendship between an English person and a Finnish person. At all other times, we live different lives but, for a few hours on a beach in East Sussex on 17th October, all that was pushed to one side and filled with just us. Then the waves of family life and love and wash over the pebbles and the sand and all trace of us disappears....until the next time.

PART TWO with photographs to follow.


Wednesday, 24 October 2018

OVER HILLS AND SEAS - An Appreciation

AL BRYDON
I had never met the guy before and yet, here I was in the ticket hall of Sheffield station, waiting for him to pick me up and drive into the hills and photograph me naked.

Al Brydon arrived and I think we sat and talked over a coffee. He is not a shy man but I can see that it was an unusual situation for anyone to get his head round, let alone a landscape photographer. Then he drove me into the hills and photographed me, naked.

This is one of the photographs he took that day. It is beautiful - light and dark. I wrote a poem about it afterwards. Here is an extract....

After it was over, I picked up my shirt
It was cold and wet, I don’t know why.
The insects danced in drunken delight.
And the river, well the river ran by.

LINDA BROWNLEE
Thank you Waitrose and thank you whichever person brought in to my dentist's surgery a copy of the Waitrose magazine which contained photographs taken by Linda Brownlee's colleague, Jo Metson-Scott. I contacted Jo about photographing me and she put me on to Linda who shared her studio et voila! We met in a pub, had a drink, hatched a plan, met eventually and shot the photos in North London including this brilliant photograph. Linda was Photographer number 96 in "Over the Hill".



RACHEL MALONEY
This is one of the visitors' favourites in the exhibition. 


I wasn't sure whether to hold out my hands as I did but Rachel was too far away to ask and I thought she might be thinking 'Ooh, I do hope he keeps holding his arms out" Then I thought I should hold the pose as long as possible. My arms were really soore when Rachel appeared next to me suddenly and said"I thought I'd come and join you!" BUT brilliant as it was I feel I must show its rival for a place in the exhibition below. It was this close. 


MICHELA GRIFFITH
A highlight in a nine year journey. First, a return to Buxton through which we had driven on a trip up north to visit Hartington, the small town where Jane's father .was evacuated during the War and secondly, to be photographed by Michela whose work is full of movement and colour. 


Normally, the shoot itself is enough but, in Michela's case, I could not wait to see her exceptional photographs of me. I wanted to be in them, I was and it worked, gloriously. Movement and colour. Merveilleux.

BRIAN DAVID STEVENS
...or more accurately, Mr Nice Guy. He came down for an early look at the exhibition and we had a fun chat as always. I cried in the shoot when I turned over the card with "Over the Hill" written on it. Brian had asked me to write down phrases or words that had a meaning for me. Brian was so immersed in this shoot that, when I read the name of the project and then looked at Brian, tears welled up in my eyes - it was the one phrase that linked me to Brian. I didn't feel I could choose this image to represent Brian in my project but Brian insisted.




ANNETTE HABEL
Netti is coming up to Brighton to see the exhibition before it closes. I guess that she will leave Alvin the dog at home which would be a shame as he assisted her so well on the shoot. Since I was photographed by Netti, I have seen "Stalker" the wonderful film which inspired this shot. it must be one of the top twenty films ever made. Alvin would never have passed the audition for the part of the dog. It demanded a sense of gravitas and threat both of which are completely alien to Alvin. 

 Alvin or no Alvin, what a great image.

SAMIN AHMADZADEH
Samin in Iranian and is married to Paul, who is English. They are a lovely couple, both extremely hard working, good looking and friendly. Samin didn't photograph me. She wove me by taking photographs of pictures from my family albums and weaving them with others and laying them onto wooden circular discs and, in the case of her exhibition in Nottingham, she put 500 up on a wall and,as I saw the visitors arrive, I thought "Prepare to be amazed!"

500 at Nottingham Castle Gallery
JOSEPH WRIGHT
Joe introduced me to the arachnid family of Ixodoidea or ticks as they are known more commonly. That is not all he did - he completed the photography of me by all the founding members of the Inside the Outside collective. He produced a fantastic set of images of which this is one. 


He made a book of them all (no, I mean he actually made the book too) and he sent me two extra prints when I requested his print for the show. He is very likeable, very tall and very prepared. Someone asked me the other day - how is it that all the accounts of the shoots you have had are so positive? Well, because, Joe is typical of the photographers I have met - he is such a bloody lovely guy. 

ALEX BOYD
Alex is the most humble of photographers. He is also like a mad schoolboy boffin who just cannot stop taking photographs and experimenting at the same time. He is full of joyous enthusiasm and he carries you along with it. This shoot employing the Victorian wet plate collodion method took place in his garage. His work is amazing and, yes, another wonderful friend. 


JULIA HORBASCHK
What can I say about Julia? One of the most kind and thoughtful people I have ever met. She is generous, caring, clever, honourable, annoying, witty, annoying, outspoken, annoying, forthright,  pretty, pretty annoying, informed, and loyal - spot the lie. Annoyingly, she is not annoying at all. She has become a great friend. And she takes great photographs like this one.



MAX LANGRAN
Young amiable guy who, when he is not taking great photographs of Brighton seascapes, is photographing a man with Parkinson's on the beach at 4.30am. Max very kindly donated two photographs for the raffle which raised money for Parkisnson's UK. Currently travelling around South America. Yes, nice chap.



SARA GAYNOR
A lovely woman who likes a cream tea every now and then. Very supportive, very enthusiastic and has an eye for a good photograph. I have said before that I am sometimes worried when I am handed a prop - in this case, a round mirror - because, if you don't feel comfortable that will come out in the final picture but this did feel right and that is down to Sara's gentle direction and choice of location. I love this shot.



SIMON ROBERTS
A lovely man - again very supportive and encouraging. And generous too - he donated a copy of his fantastic book, "Merrie Albion" to the raffle which raised money for the local Brighton & Hove branch of Parkinson's UK. He is always insistent on me showing the contact sheet of photographs which I took that day whenever I display his gorgeous shot. So here they both are.



JACQUI BOOTH
Hm....where do I start? When I first met Jacqui, she was nervous but she knew what she wanted and she got it. She gives the impression that she is all over the place but she's not. She is very intelligent and incisive and her sense of humour is quick and sometimes delightfully coarse. She is an excellent photographer as this beautiful photograph shows. Just had a nice chat with her on Twitter - she is a lovely person.



JOAN ALEXANDER
I was sort of hoping that Joan would suddenly walk through the door at the Private View and, if she had, I would have cried my eyes out. But she has huge amount on her plate now she is in Ireland and her daughter, Martha Marie, needs looking after and yet I must been a pain throwing deadlines at her. I adore the colours and light in this photograph which really felt like a true collaboration which represented a fond friendship built up over several years and shoots and swims. 



ROB HUDSON
Rob must be one of the most respected landscape photographers I know. Why? God knows. No, seriously, he is so bloody good at it, that's why. When I thought of having this exhibition, I knew that it would be this photograph which would lead it. And so it was. Originally, I wanted it on the wall above the fireplace in the parlour of the Regency Town House but I was persuaded to put it on an easel. I didn't want to at first but the effect of looking straight at it when you walk into the room, is electric. A great image by a great artist. 



CLARE PARK
I love Clare. I love her astuteness, her calm authority, her doubts, her questions, her forethought, her humanity and I expect to be photographed by her until I die whether or not I continue with my photographic projects. With her, it is part of the way she communicates - the camera is like an extension of her arm like Rod Laver and his Dunlop Maxply Fort tennis racquet, Picasso and his paintbrush and Jimmy Greaves and his football - and I bet that is the first time she has been compared to a tennis player and a footballer).  She has distinction, gravity and grace. Just look at this photograph and say otherwise.
 
JOANNE COATES
Joanne is an interesting character. She looks wonderful in her her classic 1950s frocks and shoes. She is staunchly working class. She creates raw pictures in a way that tells so much about the subject whether of not the subject is an inanimate item or a living person. As I said on the label accompanying the photograph at the exhibition, the picture that was chosen (by both of us) is unflattering if one is looking for a classic nude with a perfect body but if one is looking for the truth, then look no further. It says so much about me - a survivor, with an ageing body facing what life is throwing at him on a daily basis and sometimes dealing with it well and sometimes not. It is a typical Joanne Coates picture - rough, beautiful and powerful.
  
THEA LOVERING
Thea is delightful and surprising - the photograph which she sent to me for the show was totally different from any others we had considered before. She photographed me over two days after a lengthy chat on Skype and was very easy to get on with. She represents one of the most enjoyable aspects of my photographic projects and that is the complete absence of any generation gap between me and the photographer. 


DAVID WARES
Another thoroughly nice person. He thinks and speaks very eloquently about his work and he produces memorable images sometimes seemingly out of nothing - see his well, I was going to call it street photography but it is so much more than that. It is documentary - small snippets of early 21st Century life which tell so much about human kind but equally, as with all good Social Historians, say so much about himself. This photograph marked the ending of landscape work for Dave but, even so, it heralds his new interests even if it is a posed shot. 


VALDA BAILEY
Valda is an artist of the highest class. She is always setting high standards in her work. Each time she produces a new photograph she raises the bar not only for people who endeavour to produce similar work but also for herself. She is unassuming, considerate, inventive and unique. She spoke at the Panel discussion recently and was a big hit with the audience.


DENISE MYERS
Denise now lives and works in Switzerland. However, she was living in the UK when I contacted her after being introduced to her landscape photography via Twitter. She suggested Polesden Lacy as the location and we had a good time there. It was a lovely day and I basically just mucked about but Denis was there to record it, resulting in another photograph which is often admired especially in this exhibition. This was because we both became bolder - me in my suggestions and relationship with the camera and Denise in her direction. It was also towards the end of the shoot and by then we had got to know each other much better.


MARTHA ORBACH
Martha knows that I am a naughty boy- she gave me some homework to do weeks ago and I still haven't done it because my time has been taken up with the show. I've forgotten what the homework was now but next week just watch me go! Martha is very easy going although I think I recognise in her a schoolteacher trait which I think may not have any sympathy with weak excuses. This is a photogram and I'm still not certain how it is produced but I do know that it involves some kind of photographic process. The image itself often makes me sad when I look at it - the figure looks so alone and sometimes I feel that way. 

 AMANDA HARMAN
Amanda felt the same way as me about West Wittering as she used to go on holiday there when she was younger as I did. Eventually, my family moved there. The beach at The Strand has not changed very much over the years except that the houses on The Strand have got bigger. I like this photograph a lot and so do members of my family. Amanda has captured the essence of the place -  the sand, the colour and the desire to play. She had a head start but she has produced a wonderful image and another fond memory of my time spent there.


ALEX BAMFORD
It is always a nice experience meeting Alex. He simplifies everything. He has been incredibly helpfiul with several exhibitions helping to produce labels and notices of professional quality and, on this occasion, he designed these and then recommended Stampa Printing to produce the final article and they did a splendid job. This time he also loaned us his projector for the Panel Discussion and operated it on the night - what a guy. No surprise then to tell you that when he took this photograph on a very cold morning, he provided Dressing gown, slippers and, if I remember correctly, a hot water bottle!



ELISSA JANE DIVER
.....and the interloper i.e. me! I love Elissa's story of me as the interloper in her seascape which made her realise that she had to go back to her original idea of me sinking into and/or emerging from the darkness. I am so glad she did because it is an excellent shot. It is also one of the smallest prints in the exhibition but it always makes a huge impression.


WENDY PYE
Every time I look at Wendy's photograph, I can hear the 'gloops' and 'plops' of whatever creatures inhabit this lake. It is one of the most memorable shoots I have had in that the lake was about 200 yards or so from the house owned by Wendy's friend and yet we felt so isolated and in a world of our own. Wendy asked me if I could stand on edge of the jetty. I wanted to but felt too unsteady and so I went on all fours and then stretched out like this. A beautiful evening and a beautiful photograph.



STEPHEN SEGASBY
Steve is a big man in every way but he is also a pussycat although maybe lion-sized. He is one of the founder members of the Inside the Outside collective. I had never met him before but with Al Brydon coming along for the ride, we all slipped into easy banter and got on very well. Steve spoke very well et the Panel Discussion and he knows Psycho-geography when he sees it.


TINA ROWE
The theme of the exhibition is landscape so what do these nine polaroid shots have to do with it? Well, there is a pattern and so one might regard that as a sort of landscape. They look beautiful in the box frame and receive many favourable comments form visitors to the show. It was lovely to see Tina again at the Private View and to be introduced to her husband. We are planning to work together again. 


HANNAH WIRGMAN
A recent graduate from the University of West of England. A bright, chatty person who became very still and calm when it came to taking the photographs. She was willing to try most things and we took a lot of nude shots but we both agreed that this was the one for the show. It was towards the end of the shoot and was less posed (if it was posed at all) than the others and it spoke of the landscape and our mutual love of it.
MIRJA PALJAKKA
.........and last but not least, the great Finnish photographer, Mirja Paljakka, who spoke so movingly and with such clarity at the Panel Discussion. A deep thinker and effusive and gregarious. She looks for simplicity knowing that she will find depth when she edits the images later. She is articulate in her speech and in the presentation of her work. She adored West Wittering beach as I do. She has said many times how honoured she feels being in the show but we are all honoured by her presence. 


 PHIL BLUME 
I cannot write an appreciation of the exhibition without mentioning Phil Blume who works at The Regency Town House. He has been so helpful. I wrote recently to all the participants in the Panel Discussion, including Phil, to thank them for their input and this is the reply I received from Phil:-

Phil Blume

Thu, Oct 18,


Hi Tim

My own experience has been entwined with photography for a very long time. 

I must have been about eight when given my first camera. It was an Agfa of some description, I just remember it took 120 roll film which was a bit fiddly to load and unload. Then at fourteen I was given a Practica 35mm reflex camera and a 200mm telephoto lens. 

To look through the viewfinder of that camera was mesmerising. It changed everything. 

A few years later, my first term's student grant bought a battered Nikon F rather than the food and lodging it was intended for; the next term bought a lens and more rolls of film; the following term another lens; and so on. 

Undernourished and undeterred, photography had become my way of life.

Although many years have passed since then and the creative light has flickered a few times, it remains mostly undimmed.

To carve up a phrase: once in a while, something delightful my way comes: which explains why helping you to present your exhibition has been an absolute pleasure.

Listening to the photographers yesterday evening as they talked about their own experiences and approach to picture taking and picture making echoed memories of my own experiences. 

Your thanks are reciprocated Tim, and extended to all the photographers who contributed to the evening, to the exhibition and to your journey.

Cheers, Phil


Thank you all for your time and effort and for putting up with me hounding you for this and that. It has been yet another great experience for me and may I also thank the people who came and asked questions which challenged me. Finally, thank you to Rebecca Drew and her team at the Brighton Photo Fringe for their support and hard work.