19th May to 9th June 2012
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
GUILD Gallery 68/70 Park Street Bristol BS1 5JY.
The photographs in this exhibition represent a small cross section of images that I have taken since 1969 when I picked up a camera after been briefly arrested at the Running of the Bulls in Pampalona for allegedly standing on a pink Cadillac to get a better view of the bulls with an American girl called Karen. We then got involved in a head on collision after leaving Pampalona but during her time in hospital I started using her camera and a few months later I was living in New York in her parent’s house, spending my days walking around New York taking photographs.
Protest and alternative visions have been one of my interests as a photographer. This could stem from an incident in my youth when in 1967 while staying in Paris I helped to organize a protest against police brutality after seeing an Italian girl getting beaten up by the police. As a consequence I spent a night in a police cell and started to question the nature of democracy. The following year, May 1968 I found myself breaking through the police lines at Grosvenor Square with the aim of storming the American Embassy. Unfortunately the mounted police were a formidable barrier.
A few months later I left teacher’s training after traces of cannabis were found in a pipe in my hall of residence room. I had smoked the pipe before getting down to write an essay on Marxism for which I got a high grade. As a consequence I hitched through Europe and North Africa before ending up at the Running of the Bulls.
Wilderness is another aspect of the exhibition. For much of my life I have enjoyed getting lost in wild landscapes. Some of the images were taken after weeks of walking or hard travelling staying in very basic accommodation and sometimes simply sleeping in the open.
Festivals and music has always been a part of my life from my earliest memories and in the 1960’s I went to some of the early rock festivals.
These photographs were not posed or planned. I tend to take a few photographs then move on. I also try and merge into the background and become invisible so people are not aware that I am taking photographs. If there is an element of posing then I try and take a picture when it is least unexpected.
I am also interested in photographing ordinary people, documenting the actual reality of their life’s rather then the false representations which can sometimes dominate the media.
The photogravure prints are a new direction. I find this process interesting as it mixes photo-shop technology with traditional methods of photography. You can take an old image and make it look completely different. Also I like the fact that by inking up a plate you can control the final print.
Peace Snapped was published by Podivin Books in 1986. It retailed in all the major bookstores as well as bookshops in New York.
The Waste Warriors was an Arts Council millennium award and the images were put on the sides of a Cirencester dustcart for a year. The Deep Well images were taken in the centre of Australia. I spent 3 weeks working on an organic fig and date farm doing a 7 day week and a 12 hour day. At the end of a shift a few bottles of home brew I would walk around the bush taking 360 degree landscape shots and putting my thoughts down on to paper and the 3 montages are the end product of this experience. The haiku montage was written as I walked up the mountain by the Zen temple and again it a 360 degree landscape montage.
The black and white limited editions sell at £200. The large photogravure at £500 and the smaller one of Operation Delivery at £300.
Remaining signed copies of peace Snapped are on sale for £20 and the signed photo postcards sell at £2.
07969 001 596