Spring Flowers

Exams, Events and Exhibitions

I have been interested in photography since the time I was given disposable cameras as a child to record memories of places visited.  Before this I kept scrapbooks of photos from magazines when I was younger to help with my understanding and language skills.  Then by keeping photo albums I later saw the benefit of “reminiscence therapy” to also help my grandmother remember happy times.  In 2018 I self-published a book of photographs called “How Special Memories Evolve” and dedicated it to my grandmother who has dementia.  Its front cover page showed these flowers that I photographed in East Sussex and many other photographs in the book show my fond memories of growing up on the south-east coast.

Thanks to my high school teacher’s encouragement, I further developed my interests in photography and art.  I enjoyed taking a GCSE in photography as well as art and my examination included a display in a red phone box of my photographs with all my memories from visits to different parts of the country:

Another mentor I had throughout my student years is my good friend in E Sussex, Penny Hobson who is a beachcombing artist:

Penny’s dramatic photography often recorded storm damage.  She described how beach huts had been “smashed to pieces like matchsticks strewn over the shingle”.  Her eye was also drawn to bright colours and I thought of her recently when I photographed these beach huts in Saltburn.  She used to say with beach huts, “It’s impossible not to get some good angles in the shot!”

During my GCSE studies I learned how to take photographs of everyday objects like windows and doors that could create pattern with shadow effects.  A new way of looking at things was opening up to me and I now explain this to school students.  They sometimes visit me at JOT’s Gallery to ask advice before their exams about photography and how it influences my art.  I talk about how my attention gets drawn to line patterns and reflections whether from architecture:

Or the texture, shapes and colours we see in nature and straight lines of flowers/trees for example:

Colour in the landscape fascinates me and anyone who knows about my photo collage workshops realises that they are not about digitally enhancing photos using Photoshop or Gimp, but how to physically make them take on a more 3D appearance.  By adding texture to photographs using recycled threads, strips of fabric, shredded or cut paper, you can highlight strong patterns, bold shapes and other details making the photography become more alive!

At Bradford School of Art some of my favourite lessons were spent in the darkroom learning new techniques and I also practised digitising my images:

I enjoyed studying David Hockney’s techniques of using “joiners” and the patchwork of broken photographs he reassembled in a different abstract form.  Just like Hockney’s overlapping “joiners”, I began to experiment with overlapping my photos but with recycled materials instead.  I now use photography as an artistic tool in my artwork.

I have explained my techniques to The Ripon City Photographic Society https://www.riponcityphotographicsociety.co.uk/ where I am pleased to be an honorary member.  The Society meet regularly to discuss their own work and listen to talented speakers about a range of photography techniques.  They all have their own very unique styles and I am proud that some of the members will soon be displaying their photography at my gallery.

At present there is a display of eye-catching landscape, nature and dog photography by Paul Howell until 27th May 2023.

Following this members of Ripon City Photographic Society will display their work.

Everyone is welcome to visit.

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