From Swarf, Bromoil Print, 1998
Bromoil Print, 1999
I graduated from BPCAD (Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design) in 1985 with an HND in photography, the year my first child was born. Life has always played a major part in the subjects that I tackle. Life, my life, has always been the inspiration for my work.
After leaving college, I spent a number of years experimenting with different photographic processes and tried my hand in many areas of photography from still life to industrial, wedding, portrait and editorial. It wasn’t until the mid-90s that I began to use my skills and experience to produce something that I felt satisfied with. I wanted to say something with my work, something more than a single image, or photograph could.
I started to produce work in a narrative form with text, such as ‘Capture’ in 1996, albeit Howard Shaw contributing the text for this work. Also, around this time, I began to use multiple images in my work, such as with ‘Swarf’. These two techniques have surfaced in a lot of my work since.
As a struggling artist, I have always had to use my ingenuity to survive. I have always been willing to try my hand at most things and became quite adept at practical jobs such as landscaping and small building projects. With these new found skills at hand, I began incorporating these techniques and materials into my work. So much so that I now no longer look upon myself as just an image-based artist, which can be seen in work such as the ‘Silvani’s’ sign (mosaic, 2002), ‘The Front Pages’ (newspaper and PVA, 2004) or new work such as ‘Dreadnought’ (roof tiles, 2019).
Finally, I can’t but help mention my home town/city of Wolverhampton. This is the place that has helped to shape me. It is, obviously, a place that I draw upon for subject matter, but more importantly, a place that has strengthened my resolve to produce work with a social conscience, to produce work that will hopefully make people consider what is happening around them.
Commissions / Exhibitions / Awards
HND final show at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design.
Group show at Masius Advertising Agency, London.
Gained 'Mercury' Award for gum bichromate work, exhibited on 'Best of British' stand at Expo'92, Seville.
Joint commission, with Howard Shaw, for dance/imagery piece - 'Caryatid' - performed at Walsall Art Gallery.
Collaborated with Howard Shaw on book on North Wales - 'Capture' (part one) - using text and bromoil images. Shown at London Book Fair.
Received 'New Work and Commissions' Award from West Midlands' Arts for collaborative work with Howard Shaw on 'Capture' (part two).
Produced documentary piece looking at school life. Exhibited at St. Michael's C of E School, Wolverhampton.
Retrospective exhibition at Wolverhampton Central Library.
Commissioned to lead bromoil workshop at Hereford Photo Festival.
Series of still lifes based around local industry -'Swarf'- shown at H.art Gallery, Birmingham.
’Swarf' shown in group exhibition - 'Sixteen' - at Victoria Gallery, Wolverhampton.
'From One to Another' (part one), documenting life at Oldfallings Junior School, Wolverhampton, exhibited at the school.
'From One to Another' (part two), documenting life at Wolverhampton Grammar School, exhibited at the school.
Exhibited 'Swarf' and 'From One to Another' (parts one and two) at Degree Show at Wolverhampton University, along with two bookworks, 'From Me to Another', a more personal look at my previous schools using text and images, and 'M54 Views', looking at the area immediately
around the motorway, using the cyanotype process.
Exhibited degree show work - 'Swarf', 'From One to Another' and 'From Me to Another' - in group show - 'Tomorrow, then…' - at The Custard Factory, Birmingham.
Selected to show piece from 'Swarf' at The New Designers' Show, London.
Produced three video shorts - 'Interludes' - for inclusion in performance piece by Howard Shaw - 'Nude Descending' for show at Walsall's
New Art Gallery.
Produced documentary project looking at people's leisure activities, entitled 'Culture', supported by Wolverhampton Borough Council. Work exhibited throughout the borough during 2001.
Exhibited 'Capture' (parts one to four) at The Lighthouse Media Centre, Wolverhampton and Rhyl Arts' Centre.
Retrospective of recent work shown as solo exhibition at 'Coffee @' in London.
Exhibited retrospective of work at Silvanis Café, Wolverhampton – ‘Off My Wall’.
Exhibited documentary work ‘Candidacy’ - at Silvanis Café.
Also curated a number of smaller exhibitions by local artists, as well as organising a 2-week music/arts festival at the café.
Produced ‘One Year of Front Pages’ project and the ‘Lighter’ project at Silvanis Café, Wolverhampton.
Commissioned Matt Lloyd to produce ‘Silvanis Chess Set’ on ceiling at Silvanis Café.
Selected for photographic bursary at Rhubarb-Rhubarb Festival in Birmingham.
Produced ‘Silvanis v.1’ documentary music video, in collaboration with Jo Silvani, based on videos shorts at Silvanis from 2004-05.
Exhibited an early version of ‘My Dad’s Tools’, ‘A Walk around Port Meirion’ and ‘The Front Pages’ at the first Glasgow Open House Art Festival.