When you lay your head on the pillow at night, it’s the personal work that’s the thing that’s likely to make you feel proud and satisfied.
WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB? AND WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I am working at the moment on re-locating to USA and am nearly there after a year in the planning.
Having finished the Love Bites series in February, I am now talking with publishers and in advanced talks with curator David Drake about organising a touring show of public space galleries in 2021-22 in Britain and Europe for the series.
WHY IS PERSONAL WORK SO IMPORTANT ?
My personal work has largely become my primary work, and it informs so much of the spin offs from the various series and book projects. It’s been the key to becoming the photographer that I’ve always wanted to be – a documentary photographer – I wanted to free myself to undertake big or long term projects.
You need to get into the right head space to wholly trust your own vision and then you’re in the place where great personal work can flourish. It’s a hard thing to do and it’s up to you to accept that, and you need to trust the gut feeling that says this is so wonderful that it just had to be made.
When I was doing commercial work never worked as well, there was always the need to compromise.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PROJECT?
The latest series is Love Bites a contemporary look at a tiny section of the Bristol Channel area, where much of the larger picture in Britain today is played out, from rural homelessness, Latvian pole dancers, transvestites, Romanian fruit pickers, muddy estuaries, damp seaside towns out of season….
I was driven to photograph it as I live locally (or have been as I am about to move to the American West), and I wanted to find a project on my doorstep that did not involve great distances (as I had completed in 2014 my last project, that became the book, Last Best Hiding Place, all in the American West states of Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Utah over seven years and involved thousands of miles of traveling)
WHAT DID YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH IT?
I wanted to look at an area like this twenty mile patch of Somerset coast, and find everyday places and people living slightly under the radar
WHAT’S THE OUTCOME OF THE PROJECT?
I did a small exhibition of some of the work at the gallery, Francesca Maffeo Gallery that represents me in UK, in the autumn of 2018, and the larger touring exhibition with new works will be doing the rounds in 2021-22
WHAT’S YOUR NEXT PROJECT?
I’m moving to the States in the next few months so I’m keeping my options open. I’ll probably work on a combination of something very long term, and then another more local short term project.