In 1839 the daguerreotype changed the very nature of how we observe, record and remember our world. Since then the photograph has challenged the written word in recording and sharing the significant events in our lives. We are able to present ourselves and our experiences as we wish them to be remembered, without revealing everything about ourselves — things, places, people and times which will ultimately pass beyond living memory. The images or series here came about for different reasons. Some are autobiographical, a few documentary. Some are informed by interests and experiences from different times in my life; others need little explanation or have an enigmatic or mysterious quality that only I recognise. However, the thoughts of two great photographers come close to offering a broad rationale which I can relate to when describing why I photograph what I see: 'I'm interested in what any present time will look like as the past' Walker Evans; 'There is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described', Gary Winogrand.
It has been said of Winogrand that the world only existed after he had photographed it. Perhaps he was trying to establish psychological order in a very complicated world, a compulsion I can understand when memory and what is real or true are not always what they seem. As photographs are always about the past, time and distance, more accurately memory, unreliable and often veiled, is important. It's often only after a period of time, the unconscious span between then and now, that I find an affinity, real of wishful, or some form of certainty in an image. To an observer the images here may be mute, they show what the film or sensor captured but not what I was thinking at the time. When you look at these photographs, you don't need to look for specific meanings — or technically perfect pictures — but the text cited from the Home Page by the writer « Kapka Kasabova : The Border » may help to make sense of some of the images.
I was born on the south side of Glasgow and now live in the English Lake District, but home will always be the Isle of South Uist in The Outer Hebrides. I studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1968 until 1973. In the summer of 1970 I was fortunate to assist Joseph Beuys, Gerhardt Richter and others during the 1970 ground-breaking Edinburgh International Exhibition Strategy Get Arts : Contemporary Art from Dusseldorf. From 1973 I practised as an art editor / book designer, advertising art director and graphic designer, collaborating with many talented creative people and interesting clients, including three projects with Eve Arnold, the first woman member of Magnum Photos. In 1999 I began to teach at Coventry School of Art, eventually as the Course Director for the International Masters course in Graphic Design.
British Open Polaroid : The Spectro Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1983)
Time Place Presence : Lanchester Gallery, Coventry University (2004)
The Tides Obey The Moon : Lanchester Gallery, Coventry (2004)
Ghost Ships : Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry (2005) Group
No-fly Zone : The Lewis Gallery, Rugby School (2012)
That Golden Stain of Time : The Severn Studio, Brantwood, Coniston (2013 – 2014)
Study The Past Define The Future : The Lewis Gallery, Rugby (2014)
That Golden Stain of Time : Open Up North : The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (2014)
Time Place Presence : Coventry University (2004) Exhibition Catalogue
Paul Strand, Tìr a'Mhurain : Studies in Photography, The Scottish Society
for The History of Photography (2018)