2 Sept 2019



It's one year today since I left for a book-making residency at the Skaftfell Center in Iceland.

I wrote and thought and made so much there and about it since. It was, in the closing words of my diary of the time, strange, hard, rich and rewarding. 

Here are some (nearly) wordless poems that I've only just reassembled. I've finally run out of things to say about that time and place (for now). 

1 Feb 2019



Funny what you find lurking in your archives...

29 Jan 2019


Ben Mourra

I'm in the middle of refreshing my portrait portfolio by shooting with some excellent humans - film-maker Ben Mourra of Screencult was the first brave volunteer to surrender himself to my lens. We played with the deep shadows and lovely window light in his live-work space and he generously gave me time to revisit some studio lighting mix-ups that I wanted to try. 

8 Jan 2019


A bókaflóð

I wrote up some details of my own bókaflóð* on the Printing Matter residency for the Centre for Fine Print Research's Book Arts Newsletter at the end of last year (see below for images and flipthroughs and click here for the full report). 

I'm now pleased to follow up the two finished volumes I made there with a zine-travelogue. Inspired by both the lacksadaisical tone of W. H. Auden's Letters from Iceland and by the Terribly Serious tomes penned by Victorian adventurers, I have gathered together the letters I wrote to six women (and to myself) as part of my work (and working-out) while in Iceland. 

Words help me explain my own thinking to myself - and these letters, so generously taken in by women known and unknown to me, allowed me to illuminate aspects of my time on residency as well as to have some fun with form. 

The resulting letters, thoroughly (exhaustingly) annotated have now been published in a pamphlet, Almost Zaffre, Almost Cadmium, which is limited to an edition of 21+AP. It is pictured above with the two other Icelandic books.

Edition numbers 10-21 are available for purchase at £5.50+postage. Please email me or call using the details on my website if you'd like one, and I will be in touch to arrange payment and delivery.

*a bókaflóð is, literally, a 'book flood' and is the term used for the massive release of books that happens in Iceland at the beginning of every December. Books are often given as Christmas presents, a tradition dating back to the time when imported goods except for paper carried very high taxes.

27 Nov 2018



It's been nearly two months since I came back from the residency in Iceland, and not only have I only just started editing the photos I took there, I haven't in fact really been in much of a photographic mood at all - very unlike me. I reckon it's like diving, surface too fast and you'll get the bends.

Now I've made at least a tentative start, I thought I'd start sharing some of them here as I go and am starting with a portrait of artist Wilma Vissers in her Iceland studio.
Wilma was one of the women I shared a house with. The house had flaky mint-coloured woodwork, a collection of pebbles on a shelf, and groaned in the wind, and Nathalie and Wilma and I made a very happy home there for a short while. Wilma's practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and (as with all of us on the residency) book-making and I highly recommend you connect with her next time you're in Groningen.


15 Oct 2018



Nearly three weeks after my return from Iceland, the experience is still sinking in. Percolating, so to speak. Like a good cup of coffee I hope that, when po(u)red, it'll be well balanced, rich, energising. Sorry, can't resist a cheesy metaphor. 

Many of the things I made and thoughts I had were about pairings - here+there, left+right, now+then, words+pictures. My final book project contained a series of 'stereoscopes', paired photographs that claim to be more accurate than the sum of their parts. Interested in expanding and exploring the sandwiching of time and place implied by the multiple exposure photos I've been making on my phone, I ran a roll of film through a camera donated by a friend, both at home in London and at home in Seyðisfjörður. The resulting layers are further complicated by the film lab's...idiosyncractic...scanning system. 

While I think on my time in the Austurlands a bit more, here are some pairings from that roll of film.

(I mean, whose scanning system sees the above as separate images??)

6 Jul 2018



I'm thinking a lot about journeys and movement from, to and through at the moment. This is in part because I'm off to Iceland in September to take part in a group residency and I am reading lots about it, considering my role as an outsider coming in, why we travel, the idea of a place versus the reality, and all sorts of related things. It's also always a part of my week in this city where any journey takes an hour, where my studio is six miles from my home, where my friends are far flung (although drawing closer), where I have three roles and no permanent spot for any of them. 

Last week I made some of these lovely glitchey panoramas that are helping me look at time. It's a technique I've tried before, whether shared here or elsewhere. They are a quick offshoot of something still else that's bubbling in the back of my hard drive. Who knows whether it'll ever come to fruition? It's not about the destination after all...

Oh, and it's also about manipulating the side of a bus into something I think terribly pretty.

12 Jun 2018



I love apps. I mean, I really really love them. I use them daily in my own work and I encourage photography workshop participants to explore them. Yes, I do know (in principle) how to work SLRs both D and otherwise (I used to shoot using the sunny-16 rule on a Russian rangefinder with a wonky winding mechanism and long-dead light meter batteries) and I even put in my time in a colour darkroom while at college (*shudder* *so much darkness, it was a long winter*). My Lightroom workflow suits me just fine and if you really demanded it I could take out all your wrinkles in Photoshop (but I won't, on principle). 

Apps are just another tool and I can't bear to read another article about the death of photography due to the iPhone. I love that they are limiting and limited and remove a few of the myriad of choices we are faced with as people and as creatives. Here's a current favourite - NOMO. It's free, and pops out a digital Instax, just like the ones that papered my teenage bedroom. It even 'develops' faster if you shake your phone (though we all know the real test would be if you stuck it under your armpit). Try it! It's fun! It's silly! It doesn't mean anything really!

23 May 2018


Motion Studies: National Dance Company Wales at The Place

A few weeks ago National Dance Company Wales held an open rehearsal session ahead of their performance at The Place

It was a unique opportunity for artists and dance fans - either to take a peek behind the scenes and really admire a fraction of the hard work that goes into those physical and beautiful pieces, or to sketch, photograph, write about or just observe freely without worrying about disturbing fellow audience members or breaking any rules. 

As a theatre and arts photographer I'm privileged to see many of these behind the scenes moments while photographing rehearsals or shows; this was different in that I was only photographing for myself and therefore could be a bit more experimental. I played a lot with long exposures, moving myself or keeping the camera static, with what happens when you put the camera out of focus on purpose, and even tried freelensing for the first time (conclusion: the effect is beautiful but when your subjects are also moving it's even more difficult!). 

It was also a wonderful sensation to have creativity happening behind you in the stalls as well as in front of you on the stage. The air in the room was almost crackling with it and we all shared gleeful smiles as we left for the sheer pleasure of making something all together. 

Warm-ups for me

Warm-ups for the dancers

Moving camera on tripod to follow the dancers across the stage (above and below)

Free-motion capture (above and below left) 

I had time to play with the exposures to balance out tracking the dancers' movements with retaining some detail

The studio becomes like a cinema screen, each cell a fragment of time, movement, energy 
Winding back down, unfocusing, loosening muscles

Thank you very much to both companies, the choreographer and most of all to the dancers for the opportunity - head to The Place's website and sign up to the mailing list to find out about more such classes.
And of course I couldn't resist a few classic shots...so much grace, so much sinew