Caught in the treadmill of endless economic growth. Entranced by material wealth, I feel the servant rather than master of the system. Impotent against misrepresentations of truth and the disdain of our politicians. Unable to grasp crises which are of global proportions. But...... body and soul are restorable. I can have hope.
My photographic practice is a search for a revitalising and embodied understanding of the interconnectedness which is innate to our world – of the interdependence of self, others, and all that is around us. It is a search for insight and inspiration to a bodily disposition which is responsive to meaning, purpose and value. I refer to this disposition as ’spiritual sensibility’.
Such sensibility must leave room for material joys, but critically also ensure a perspective that is conducive to the likes of goodness, truth, and beauty. A perspective that is sufficiently full and deep as to support being, and staying, alive. A perspective that would allow us to say and think things that otherwise might be difficult – to each recover control of our being from the neoliberal mire.
My work though is not a neat set of answers. Mine is an invitation to enquiry - the sharing of a search. My aim is to create spaces for individual, contemplative thought. Art that is committed, as I believe mine is, is not dogmatic, but rather is that which ‘awakens and activates a free choice to generate authentic intellectual exploration’. (Rachel Lee, Boston College, www.academia.edu). Please do explore and enjoy.
‘Instead of standing firmly with your feet and holding tight with both hands in order to feel secure in your place, here you have to dart across the liquid, shimming surface like a long legged fly, swim with its currents like a fast moving fish’ - Stephen Batchelor, author and secular Buddhist
Background and Experience
After graduating at degree and research doctorate level in biochemistry, I spent 35 years earning a living at the interface of technology and commerce, the last 20 years being involved with research management at Leeds University. It was in 2011 that I decided to follow my dreams of being a fine art/documentary photographer.
My interest in photography has been lifelong, initially as a means of creating holiday mementos, and then as a serious amateur landscape and travel photographer. However, in 2010 I started upon an MA course led by John Kippen at the University of Sunderland. After graduating with distinction in 2012 I have sought to evolve a critically engaging practice which aims to create visual narratives which arise from, and which promote, serious reflection on our relationship with the world around us.
Our dizzying contemporary ways of living usually leave little time and space for such issues, yet in a culture where resource usage is close to or above finite limits, we must ask ourselves how do we want to live – are we sufficiently sensitive to the world around us.
As part of my practice I seek out times and places which offer space for deep reflection. To this end walking is a critical part of my practice. I walk both with and without my camera and it provides a platform for relating world to self. As such I equate with the words of John Muir, a Scottish-born American naturalist and pioneer of the modern conservation movement, who noted
'I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for in going out, I found I was really going in'
I am a member of the international art.earth network, and associate member of the academic artists network, LAND2.