– How and when did you become interested in photography?
I have always been a visual person, but I was finishing my gcse’s at the age of 16 when I really became interested in photography and my parents bought me a 1962 pentax ashai completely manual camera.After my exams, I took a 10 week starter course at Lambeth college where I learnt to shoot and develop black and white 35mm film.
– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?
I found out about Nan Goldin and her snapshot aesthetic when I was 18, which really excited me, it was a way of taking pictures of the immediate without allowing yourself too much time for framing etc,it was also the fact that she was shooting her surroundings and her ‘family’ as she called her friends. She was telling a story about hedonism its seductiveness but also the aftermath (Goldin takes photos of her various stays in rehabs and hospitals)She really inspired my early days on the foundation course and the start of the BA. Later I found a jewel that was Francesca woodman. Her prints were small, borders exposed and there always seems to be a matter of urgency with her shots, its 6×6 frame after frame. She’s on a journey of self discovery and using solely herself in the shots.Shes trying to use her camera to understand either the objects or surroundings that she’s exploring. She’s bare,and vulnerable but she’s really assertive and brave in the way she confronts the viewer.
– Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?
On my second year of my Fine art BA, we had to specialise in a medium and I chose photography.it was intense,we learnt to shoot in medium format and large format.We were taught to hand print in colour and I just went mad staying late everyday hand printing all these colour photos.I finally became confident and something just shifted where I realised that I was shooting in a way that wasn’t taking me. Black and white was like magic, watching the image appear slowly I the developing tray. From then on I just became attached to my Bronica SQA medium format camera and Ilford fp4 film and still today it’s the only camera and film I use.
– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?
I work totally in analogue,my darkrooms contain very old enlargers, I hate digital photography. I meticulously plan what im shooting and for me the post production is just as important as the initial shoot. I hate perfection, I love scratches, dust,I have developed a technique where I distress the negatives I like drawing on, peeling off the gelatine, I use hot water to soften the gelatine, peel or do whatever and ice cold water fixes the gelatine, holding down the distress so that it dries well enough to print from.
– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I would like to continue shooting the archetypes series of works until it feels right enough to stop and start something new