20in15 is complete!

20in15 is complete! Over the past year, I have enjoyed every single moment of photographing some amazing people.

My sincere THANKS go out to everyone who has been involved so far – Kathryn Sherriff, Alan Sherriff, Alban Low, Peter S Smith,  Alex Foster, Guy Meredith, John Stillman, Lucinda Metcalfe, Wayne Sleeth, Sean Chilvers, Lucy Furlong, Kendra Haste, Karin Andrews Jashapara, Jeremy Clark, The Glow Studio, Lisa Lavis, Abel Kesteven, Emma Capron, Emily Hall, Dan Redding, Mel Hetherington, Aga Cowling, Andrew Candy, Robert Good, Kimvi Nguyen, Hazard Press, Emmanuelle Carreras. 

You have been nothing but supportive of my work, given invaluable feedback and critique, and I have learned so much from observing your work and spending time with you in your studios. I hope more than anything this project has and will in some small way draw more attention to your brilliance, and to that thing none of us can live without – creativity! Although the photography is complete, there is lots more to come with this project. I am hoping to exhibit prints at [mine] gallery, Carshalton in March and working on publishing the project as a photo book. More on all of that soon…


Alban Low – A Creative Force

There is no doubt, Alban Low is a creative force. I first met him as an artist, carving a name for himself in the music world with his impressive album artwork illustration, and musician portraits sketched at gigs. His sketches are now accompanied by his words, at the popular blog Art of Jazz. He is an advocate of inclusivity, and that is at of the core of his work. Open submission exhibitions like the Magnet Art, Art Jazzed Up, and The Art of Caring have welcomed everyone. He has recently revived, and now curates the Low family publishing house Sampson Low. which is moving forward with a strong arts identity. The most recent publication has been released as a small but perfectly formed 16 page Chapbook. His drive and enthusiasm knows no bounds, and it was a great pleasure to photograph Alban at work recently in his studio. Completing a portrait commission at his home made lightbox, he recalled the moment when, “In art class, I got told that tracing was cheating. I’m glad I didn’t take that advice.” Quick and fine with his brush, using exclusively Honeydew Melon 09, Alban assured me it’s this year’s ‘new black’.

See the photos from my visit here

Art Language Location

Last week I went to Art Language Location (ALL) a contemporary visual and performance arts festival held in Cambridge. I was photographing and documenting the day, as ALL had agreed to be part of my creative photography project 20in15. I had a great day at the festival discovering some incredible work and observing artists creating work. The photos I took can be seen here.

Walking from the city centre to the venue (Anglia Ruskin University) I crossed Parkers Piece. This is not a Charlie Parker tune, but a park. In the park I saw two blokes pushing yellow plastic dogs in wheelbarrows. Tom and Julian seemed friendly but didn’t say much. Continuing on to Anglia Ruskin University, I kept vigilant and alert for further arts discovery.

Upon arrival I was greeted by some very nice people in brightly coloured t-shirts. Organiser, Robert Good looked splendid in his. The university walls were adorned with information and messages. Some of it might be ‘the art’ I thought to myself. My suspicions confirmed when I caught Note Bard Jeremy Dixon red-handed intervening with a noticeboard. His black-out poetry was spreading fast. Prince Charles has to “get much better than this” whilst “In America all respect all fear none”. Informed, entertained and now with clarity, I moved on.

Upstairs there were students at computer terminals wearing headphones, more dogs in wheelbarrows, and a large white wall. This wall was the canvas for Kimvi Nguyen’s Dash. Kimvi, whilst balanced delicately on a small radiator planned to dash slowly for three to four hours. I promised to return later and applaude the finale.

Back downstairs I consulted my ALL schedule and went in search of room COS117 and a Poetry Film. Following signs down many corridors and staircases I came across After Fors Clavigera by Abigail Thomas. The sound of the projector’s fan and the clattering of slide selection drew me in. In the dark corridor it was comforting, like the light and warmth of a fireplace.  I stayed for some time, missing the Poetry Film.

Re-tracing my steps, I then crossed the courtyard to be greeted by Nadja Daehnke and her colleagues. Nadja invited me to sit at her desk. She was wearing a white coat. I knew I was safe in her care. Expecting a straightjacket and meds, instead Nadja offered me an eye examination. I tried not to look too disappointed, and obliged by sitting at the Look Into Your Eyes machine. I was then escorted to a lecture theatre where I was able to sit alone and look into my eyes, projected on the big screen. Nadja collected me after a few minutes and I asked me what I thought of the experience. I told her I thought I blinked quite slowly and definitely needed more sleep. She said she could help with that and pointed me in the direction of room LAB 006.

LAB 006 was dimly lit and circular. There were large bean bags around the edge of the room. On each bean bag there was an eye mask and a blanket. I wasted no time removing my shoes and lying down. Others joined in. Soon the whole room was full with weary arts explorers ready to snooze. Alison Carlier spoke in soft tones, leading us down the path to relaxation. Descriptive words, objects and materials. I didn’t fully understand the meanings, but that didn’t seem to matter as images started to appear in my mind. I drifted off. I most likely snored, although that’s not certain.

Awakening gently from my nap, reality gripped me and I knew at once I had missed Kumvi’s finale. I dashed there, but was too late. The Hare and the Tortoise I thought to myself.

On my way out I visited room LAB028 where Jonathan Rogerson was preparing for his piece Nobody Knows Where My Johnny Was Gone.  I was on a tight schedule, with a train to catch and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick around to see if he solved the mystery. I was lucky however to be in the room with Jonathan as he warmed up for his performance. The photograph I took of him at the piano with his back to the room before his show is one of my favourites from the day.

All cameras ‘grate’ and small


Daniel Redding is London’s go-to video guy. Filming everything from jazz luminaries to dirty boats. As with all the creatives I am photographing for 20in15, I’m trying to reveal the process that goes into the final product or end result. Often, that is all we see. Dan invited me to his location of the day to document the camera setup. A few days later I joined him in his state-of-the-art-editing-suite-bedroom. Spurred on by his trademark ‘stove-top latte’ he re-lives every moment of every angle, from every camera, over and over again. The results are stunning. It’s a lot of work. He needs assistants and a secretary. A haircut too. Actually, that is harsh. He has had it cut recently and I like it. I’m probably just jealous of his ability to grow the stuff.

Check his amazing videos on Vimeo. See the full image series here

Alex Foster – Illustrator

Office chair, print on wall

I just finished another set of photos for 20in15 with illustrator Alex Foster. He specialises in map illustrations, print and editorial work, creating from his Margate based studio. Orders come at a fast pace through his online shop, and if you take a look at it you can see why. Adverts, films, books, clothing, and a recent commission of timelines for the Roald Dahl company make up his impressive portfolio. For someone who told me “I’m not very good at drawing”, I think he’s doing pretty well! Thanks to meeting Alex, I now know how to find the best pizza place in town (and probably the planet), I have better clothing, and I really want to visit Margate again.

Wandling, using paths & reasonable advice.

Last year, I was invited to submit work for an exhibition called On The Map. I’ve been taking my camera out with me on local river walks so thought that would be a good starting point. Reviewing photos, I mapped a route. I then spent hours drawing a map. Literally hours. Then, I paused to watch YouTube videos. Embracing the new Photoshop skills I needed to electronicise (not a real word, but probably should be?) my map. I learnt about using Paths. After many more hours, I felt like I owned those Paths. Many more hours. My hand hurt; mouse fatigue. Nervously, it went to print.

A few weeks later I received from my publishers (daaahling!) Sampson Low, 25 copies of Wandling – A Photographic Walk Along The River Wandle.

Don’t let the title fool you into thinking it features close ups of kingfishers, rabbits at dawn, or sunsets. Expect instead to discover how the river winds its way through rules, more rules, reasonable advice and The New Forest. I lied about the wildlife though.There is a fox; and some ducks in the frost.

If you are interested to see my map, and the maps from the other twelve On the Map artists, then the exhibition is at The Sunbury Embroidery Gallery, The Walled Garden, Sunbury-on-Thames TW166AB from 14th April – 10th May (open 10am to 5pm, closed Mondays).

The private view is on Thursday 23rd April 6.30 – 8.30pm. I’ll be there, and I have a few spare invites. Let me know if you want one.

Or, just come and do the walk sometime.

Twenty in Fifteen

Kathryn Sherriff (potter), Aga Cowling (amber glass & jewellery designer), Jeremy Clark (sculptor) and Abel Kesteven (artist) are the first four participants in Twenty in Fifteen, a photography project documenting creative people and their working environment.

Are you On the Map?


Today, I’m working on my guided map walk for the forthcoming On The Map exhibition on 15 April at the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery. The route follows the Wandle river. The working title of my map is Wandling. Genius, I know. I walked the route again yesterday and the stopwatch on my circa 1984 digital wristwatch recorded 2 hours start-to-finish-give-or-take-tea-breaks. For keen walkers it’s got options. It’s also got an island to explore. So there.




The House


On the 15th May 1975 when wallpaper was £1.38p per roll, Albert and Betty enjoyed sequence dancing, allotment gardening, and life. Their messages were discovered in 2013 and we get a snapshot of Albert and Betty’s ‘system for living’.

Redecoration can define a moment in time. It might correspond with moving house, the arrival of a newborn, or just a fresh start. Albert and Betty’s family won’t see the words (until now), yet at that moment it is the wallpaper that conveyed their sentiment as his family leaves the nest; Look what we did when you were away, we longed, we missed you, we wondered, we had time on our hands, we decorated. Welcome home.

More messages / The House is published in Patternotion – Artistic Systems for Living.