Between 1983 and 1986 I rented a former gamekeeper's cottage (Pheasant Lodge) on a shooting estate near Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The house was basic, but cheap and spacious and its location at the heart of the estate allowed me the opportunity to wander and explore the woods, lakes and the gravel quarry that was right beside my cottage.
I was intrigued by the way in which what seemed at first a wild place, was in fact highly managed and shaped by the industries of the estate. I was also fascinated by my experiences of its almost elemental characteristics, situations such as the crow traps, little bridges and other signs that are common in such places.
This was a long-term project that explored the structure of the landscape just outside my door and here are a set of images that are edited from the overall work.
Crow Trap in Woods near Pheasant Lodge
Animal Remains in Crow Trap near Pheasant Lodge
Feather and Dried Mud in Gravel Quarry
Log Footbridge and Two Ditches
New Footbridge near Gravel Quarry
Gate, Back Garden, Pheasant Lodge
Animal Tracks, Man Tracks in Quarry
Snow in Quarry
Gravel Piles in Quarry
I first visited North Norfolk in the early 2000s and was immediately struck by the beauty of its coastline and that of its hinterland and the places that inhabit it. I obviously wanted to make photographs there but whilst I admire the work of a number of photographers who capture the spectacular beaches, floodplain and its light, my approach is to seek out objects or smaller details that I find interesting. Those which I feel give a sense of the place beneath my feet. This has been, largely, how I have produced the many images from Norfolk of which these are a selection.
Post and Sunset, Thornham Harbour
Blank Sign, Thornham
Creek Panorama near Brancaster Staithe
Pool near Thornham
Electricity Structure Thornham Beach
Abandoned Sandcastle, Holkham Bay
Abandoned Sandal, Thornham
Abandoned Footprint, Thornham
Reclaimed Footprint, Thornham
Calligraphy 1 Holkham Bay
Calligraphy 2, Holkham Bay
Calligraphy 3, Holkham Bay
Sand and Shadow
Sand Shadow and Dog Tracks
Driftwood, Wells Next The Sea
Abandoned Labyrinth, Wells Next The Sea
Red Ball in Sea
Red Buoy in Channel (Phamacie, After Duchamp)
Green Buoy in Channel (Phamacie, After Duchamp)
The Grantham Canal runs for about 28 miles between Nottingham and Grantham. It has been described as a spirit level meandering through the landscape. I have spent very many hours walking or cycling along it and it is a peaceful place, inhabited by many wild fowl and other fauna. It is currently closed to traffic, which for me is one of its attractions.
Over the years I have made many images: some in black and white and, since making acquaintance with the digital realm, in colour as well. These images are a selection from a wider portfolio and as I visit in the future this will expand.
The images of the water, which are almost abstract, reflect an impression of the canal that is not immediately apparent until photographed. For me they encapsulate the quiet magic of the place.
Weeds and Water
Rubbish at Bottom of Canal
Frozen Weeds and Ice
Frosted Wood and Leaves in Water
Plants, Water and Light
Plants, Light and Shadow
I had not heard of Lunigiana in Northern Tuscany before our visit there in 2006. As with all my holidays, I set time aside to take photographs. Here there are images that range from the very small scale to larger mountain views. I think they say something about the "texture" of these places, from the dramatic to the commonplace.
Red Triangle and Mountains Comano
Corral near Comano
Gate to Nowhere 1
Gate to Nowhere 2
Mountain Road above Comano
Dead Wasp in Citronella Tea Light
Abandoned Car Radiator, Canola
Discarded Bottle, Canola
Yellow Flowers and Green Structure Near Canola
Blue and White Stripes with Rusty Shutter, Porto Venere
World Cup Regalia, Manarola
Man Taking Photograph on Boat, Cinque Terra
Man Taking Photograph on Boat, Lerici
Woman taking Photograph of Shrouded Figure, Cinque Terra
I have always loved looking at or through windows. This fascination might originate in the hours I spent at school looking out rather than paying attention to my education.
This series produced over some time includes the atmospheric to the architectural.
Window at Old Women's Prison, Cadillac, France
Portsmouth Ferry Window
Ste. Nathaline Grave 1
Ste. Nathalie Grave 2
Ste. Nathalene Grave 3
St. Malo Ferry Window
Cabin Window, River Humber 1
View through Net Curtain, Dover
Cabin Window, River Humber
View Through Net Curtain, Venice 1
View Through Net Curtain, Venice 2
Hotel Window Bourg-en-Bresse
Hotel Window, Manchester
Crown Spa Hotel, Esplanade, Scarborough
Mark on Window, Crowne Spa Hotel, Esplanade, Scarborough
Loire Valley 2007
Camping at Chenonceaux was an excellent idea. The short walk to the village and chateau revealed small details that captured my imagination.
The area surrounding also revealed opportunities to capture the sense of space and the texture of the place.
These images are a summary of a larger group of pictures that I made on that trip in 2007
Rusty Fence Post and Wire, Chenonceaux
Lamp and Blue Sky, Loches
Plant, Chaumont Art and Garden Festival
Netting and Ceiling in Church, Semur en Auxoise
French Cycling Adventure 2009
In 2009, my friend Dave Sample and I embarked on what was for us, an epic journey from St Malo to the Pyrenees following green roads, cycle ways and towpaths for the most part. This adventure took us 1200 kms over 15 days, from the English Channel to the west coast of France and through the cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse.
These images are ones that I temporarily "stepped out" of the journey to make. By which I mean there are many others that show the two of us as individuals as a record of the achievement we both felt in making and completing the journey.
Day 5 Beach, Jard sur Mer at Sunset
Day 5 Campsite at Jard Sur Mer
Day 7 Wall, Beach, Sea and Sky with Plant Chatelaillon Plage
Day 7, Transporter Bridge, Rochefort
Day 9 Stick in Sea, Sunrise near Saint-Nazaire Sur Charente
Day 10 Montlivet le Bains, Number 1
Day 10 Montlivet le Bains Number 2
Day 10 Creon
Day 14 Hut
Day 15 Unexpected Sign Near Salies du Salat
I recently (September 2017) spent two weeks in Wharfedale and Teesdale in the North of England. This visit caused me to reflect on the time I spent in Wensleydale in my late teens. In those days in the early 70s kids from the dale would spend the week in Scarborough and attend the local Technical College to study for their O and A levels. I therefore became good friends with some of them. They were my introduction to the Yorkshire Dales which at the time had seemed a very distant and almost exotic place.
These photographs were made during a short visit in 2009. I realised that I had retained my affection for the place and in a number of fairly long walks, explored old haunts. I found that I was still intrigued by small details and encounters, such as a bath in a drystone wall, the substantial stone barns and stone paths and tracks that run across the dale.
These photographs were my response to that and are a selection from a larger number I made over a short period of time in a place that continues to inspire me.
Rusted Bath in Drystone Wall
Tracks near Burtersett
Stone Barn and Dead Sheep
Dead Tree and Sky near Wensley
Trees, Sky and Bird near Leyburn
Wind Blown Tree near Leyburn
Dilapidated Barn near Middleham
Wooden Gate and Corrugated Iron near Middleham
Between Two Bridges 1986
In 1986, I was fortunate to be commissioned by Humberside County Council to make a set of photographs as part of a residency I was awarded at Posterngate Gallery in Hull, East Yorkshire.
Producing 30 images whilst setting up a photography gallery and workshop over a six month period was a challenge. Not least, where to start, with what was an open ended project.
I decided to use the two rivers, the Humber and the Hull as my starting point and my approach was to wander along them photographing encounters and experiences that I found interesting.
My boundaries along both rivers were two bridges, Hull Bridge and the Humber Bridge. I found much to be fascinated by, such as simple structures that were new to me, or buildings that seemed to have "served their time", in the context of declining local industries.
This collection is a selection from the images I made over that summer as I explored the atmosphere, the texture and fabric of a totally fascinating area.
Barbed Wire and Garden, Hull Bridge, 1986
River Hull, Reeds, Post and Bird, Hull Bridge, 1986
Gas Them, Hull, 1986
Black Fence and Fuel Tank, Hull, 1986
Abandoned Dock Building, 1986
Hull Tidal Barrier, River Hull, 1986
Warehouse, Boardwalk, River Hull, Hull, 1986
Transport and General Workers' Union, Hull Docks, 1986
Sail and Cover Co, Hull Docks, 1986
Hull Fishmeal and Oil Company, 1986
Abandoned Works, Humber Foreshore, 1986
Disintegrating Paint, Hull Docks, 1986
Building and Boat Skeleton, Humber Foreshore, 1986