Thursday, 23 September 2010

Top 5 bad taste.

My son came home from school today and said dad what is bad taste? And what do you consider some to be. 
I told him what I considered to be bad taste and here are some of my current ones.

1. Pony tails on blokes, especially bald old fat blokes, and especially especially ageing rock star type blokes.
2. Personalised number plates and personalised clothing.
3. Drag-overs on semi bald blokes, (almost makes me puke)
4. Loud designer clothes especially with metallic logo's.
5. Hoodies, just sooo naff its untrue.
6. People who change their accents on the phone according to who they are speaking to.
7. Pumas on your feet, Addidas on your legs, Nike on your body, all conflicting colours, jeez!!.
8. Footballers wives.
9  Celebrities and celebrity magazines and TV programmes and celebrity culture. I just just don't geddit at         all, whats that all about, its so desperately dull?
10 Strictly and other sick TV. How they can flush their dignity down the Toilet so readily and                           shamelessly is so beyond me its untrue.

Picture of the day

Night time in Gt. Yarmouth. More from my Norfolk series.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Picture Of the Day

I am working on a series called 'Angels In The Undergrowth' I will bring out a book late 2011. Here is one from the series. As I am in the middle of editing there is nothing to see on my website yet.

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Just watched the Pope apologise for the abuses of children on the lunchtime news which I am delighted to hear. Do we want the abusers to escape justice or is this enough? 
I think they have to be brought to justice as they are criminals. These abusers and the misguided people who offer them sanctuary will take cover behind this apology which is unacceptable to me. Anyway an apology has been made and its a start for people like my friend who still suffers mental anguish whilst her abusers walk scot free.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Papal visit.

I know this post has nothing to do with photography but as an artist I am shaped by my past so I wish to express myself over the Popes visit.
As far as I'm concerned I hope his visit is safe positive and constructive. To all Catholics who hold him in such high regard I sincerely hope his visit brings them all they desire. I wish nothing but peace and safety to all denominations. 
I am an atheist but am tolerant to all religions. I support fully and unreservedly our inalienable right to worship as we see fit and to do so in in safety.
I know a person who was not afforded the privilege of safety in the early 60's, justice was not done at her Catholic church, she suffers still from the effects of the physical and sexual abuse she received whilst 'being cared for' by the Nuns and Priests of her church. 

On her behalf I have written this to add my voice to other small voices in order that a crescendo occurs calling for action in the hope that a pure, cleansing and unflinching spotlight is shone on dreadful past events to keep new generations of children safe. If we tolerate the unforgiveable acts of the past then we only nourish it and encourage it to occur again and again in the future.
During the Papal visit my friend will stay indoors with her friends and avoid TV and newspapers as his visit will re-ignite her suffering and pain.
I believe his holiness is sanctioning an enquiry into the abuses carried out by the nuns and holy fathers of the past, I hope he finds the courage to carry out this task unflinchingly and with great thoroughness. As Catholics regard him as gods representative on earth he holds massive power and if any-one can instigate a move to justice for the abused then he has to.
Surely the future of Catholicism rests upon his committment to the task in hand, he could turn out to be a very important Pope if he finds the inner resolve to tackle this.
I was sexually abused when age 17 whilst a member of a Catholic football team but not by the Catholic church. My brother who is mentally handicapped has been sexually abused, again not by the Catholic church. The son of my best friend who is also mentally challenged was sexually abused several times not by the Catholic church but within a different church. Even the very vulnerable members of our society are not safe from the vileness of paedophila, their favourite prey is the the weakest and most defenceless. We must act to stamp out this execrable behaviour.
The first step is to acknoweledge the past.
The Catholic church must do so with great penitence under under a massive spotlight. Sexual abuse is not only occurring within its church, it happens in schools, other churches, sports clubs, in the home and on the internet to name but a few.
If todays Catholic Church finds the courage to change, to purge and ultimately to apologise to its victims then the message to all paedophiles and to all society will be clear, this behaviour is perverse, abhorrent  and cannot continue.
Perhaps one-day we will thank this Pope for the difference he has made to our society in this respect. But I'm afraid the cynic in me thinks many stones will be left unturned, large ones at that. I have heard he has stated that abusive priests will not be handed over to the Police, surely any-one else would be brought to book for obstruction to the judicial process.
Cover ups, bodyswerves, fudging of the truth and downright denials have been taking place for years and this sadly continues.In any other sphere the Pope will be sacked, instead he is de-fied. If I was Catholic I would be ashamed.
Articles like the one below do nothing to relieve my worry.

Pope Implicated 

New Topographics? a contribution from my late father.

My father was a journalist and had no formal training in writing or photography. He died in 1976 and I am currently digitising his entire oeuvre of mainly 6x6 black and white negatives. 
My Fathers Work

His photography was simple and to the point, he was a journalist and was interested in the facts. The pictures I am currently working on deal with the construction of a new housing estate in my home town of Aviemore in the early 1970's. The estate is still in existence and I lived in it from aged 12 to aged 18. My house can be seen in one of the images.
These pictures bring to mind a photographic movement which had a great influence on me when I was studying photography.
"New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape" was an exhibition that epitomized a key moment in American landscape photography and one which shaped and informed my own photographic practice.
New Topographics

I have some examples of my fathers work below and I find their simplicity of thought and execution very satisfying and uncomplicated. They were intended to be records of a construction work in progress recorded for posterity, nothing more nothing less,nothing fancy. My father had no aesthetic axe to grind, no creative philosophy to expound therefore these pictures are a pure form of documentary practice where objectivity is at its maximum. Because of this I find them very satisfying pictures.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Featured Artist

One of my favourite printers Salt Of The Earth who do fantastic giclee prints have featured me as an artist of the month here Gallery Two John Taylor.
I would like to thank John and Jude at Salt Of The Earth for putting my work up, excellent taste both of you!!
One of the images features a portrait of my son Struan (in Gaelic this means 'little river') in front of an extraordinary painting by an artist called Angela Gladwell who's website is well worth a visit. 
Its thanks to Salt Of The Earth's professionalism that Angela was tracked down and given the credit she deserved.
My Hastings images are not yet on my website but I will provide a link when they are.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Line

The drudgery of the unskilled worker. Do we sympathise? do we care? I took these pictures on assignment in the 1980's and they seem to be compelling to me now. Children read your books!! study or peruse here your fate!!.
The sequence of seemingly identical images near the end are in fact all different photographs.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

London 1980's

I am scanning my old black and white negatives from my early days in London, its fascinating to look back and remember the massive impact this immense slab of a city had upon me. Its also interesting to see how naive my picture making was at that time of learning and how rooted in the decisive moment type of black and white documentary it was. All I did when I arrived in London was walk and walk and walk getting lost all the time but always with my camera.

London 1980's