“All photographs – not only those that are so called ‘documentary’…can be fortified by words.” – Dorothea Lange
I’m a photographer and writer and former academic, with a long-standing interest in photography. I spent twenty years working in Universities in the UK and am now involved in a variety of journalistic and photographic projects.
I am a member of Luneside Studios – an arts collective in Lancaster, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
My academic expertise is in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science and Government and Social Movement Studies. I have authored a number of books and articles in these areas and have worked with a range of NGOs, Government and International organisations.
In February 2020 I was awarded the Amateur Photographer Magazine / MPB inaugural ‘Rising Star’ bursary for my photographic work documenting life in the high Arctic.
One of the most celebrated photographs of the 20th Century is Stuart Franklin’s photograph of a lone protester, standing defiantly before a row of tanks during the events of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Franklin coined the term the ‘documentary impulse’ in his book of the same name, which eloquently describes the history of photography in modern society, and reflects upon the compulsion to document our lives, and the ways in which this allows us to reflect on both ‘moral and ‘material’ truths.
Franklin’s work has been an inspiration for me, alongside Robert Cappa, Don McCullin, Tom Stoddart, Vivien Maier, Bruce Davidson and many other documentary and street photographers. However, whilst my academic work focused on issues of peace and conflict, and I continue to have an interest in the role images play in these areas, my own photography is concerned with the connections between the everyday and the extraordinary, the journeys, moments, places and people that I find interesting, challenging or inspiring in some way.
This site then, is a space for reflection on some of the reasons we might be driven to document our lives, and those of others, and hopefully a place to reflect on the role of photography and image making in the current moment, and how it might reflect or represent the unique and everyday places we inhabit and the people we meet there.
Occasionally academics call this everyday-ness the ‘quotidian’ , which makes the regular stuff sound that little bit more important.