I am a socially engaged documentary photographer. I am currently working on a number of ‘reportage’ photographic projects both contemporary and historical. My main project has been the ‘We Are Divinity Road’ Photo Project. This has now wrapped up with an exhibition from 12-15 May 2022 on the outside walls of the Co-op store on the street. A section of it ‘A street in a global pandemic’ is my first on-line exhibition, hosted by the University of Birmingham-based Arts of Place. It opened in January 2021. The LSE also wrote up as part of the urbanism blog series.
The Covid19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all our lives and I have spent a year (May 2020-April 2021) documenting individuals responses to a collective challenge through their wearing of masks. A collection of these photographs make up my first photobook: Wear a mask! Oxford pandemic portraits published by Signal Books in September 2021. A small selection is exhibited in the panel on the right.
A second photobook published in October 2021 is a documentary of the English Worker Co-operative Movement 1980s. Published by Cafe Royal Books it is part of their project to make accessible black and white documentary photography from that era. Some of those pictures are in a panel on the right. I was also part of a group exhibition celebrating the work of Cafe Royal Books at the Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, April – June 2022 entitled Documentary, zines and subversion. An updated version is exhibiting at the Stills Gallery Edinburgh from 10 November 2023 for three months. I have contributed over 120 photographs from that period to the National Co-operative Archive in Manchester.
Finally I’m still working on a more conceptual place-based meditation on the nearby Bartlemas hamlet, including allotments, abandoned nursery and ancient leper hospital and surrounds, with Prof Ian Forrest of Glasgow University. Plans are afoot for a photographic celebration, provisionally entitled ‘Searching for St Bartholomew’ to mark the 900th anniversary of its foundation in 2026. All of these projects are what is sometimes called ‘long form documentary’ practice.
One of my photos (right) was a prizewinner in the Martin Parr Foundation competition ‘Time capsule 2020’ summarising for viewers of the future, the summer of 2020 in a single shot.
‘I like these two people in their masks who are very socially engaged with each other. So that works well….We’ve got two of the main themes of the year together in one photo. Good shot.’
My six week documentation of Oxford East MP Anneleise Dodds’ 2019 General Election campaign is posted in the panel on the right.
Over the years I have contributed photographs to newspapers and magazines ranging from The Guardian to New Internationalist and Camerawork (the now-famous 1981 issue on Ireland) and have specialised on environmental and sustainability themes for both Environmental Images and Photofusion picture agencies. The blogger ‘Morris Oxford‘ identified me as one of the 10 photographers in Oxford to watch in November 2023.
I am also revisiting my archive of b/w photos from the 1970s and 1980s. There are currently six collections up here on allotments, the worker co-operative movement, a Co-op horticultural show, the ‘Green Gatherings’, Nicaragua in the 1980s and China under Chairman Mao, with more collections to follow. I like to feel that there is a thread of ‘humanitarian optimism’ running through my work.
The Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA) has published an archive of 73 of my photos from the time I was working there in 1986. They are published for the first time and are part of the commemoration of the disaster at Bhopal in December 1984. I am very pleased to have been able to contribute to the BMA campaign in this way. They remain a very moving portrayal of an issue that still hasn’t gone away.
I have worked with Prof Florence Boos of the University of Iowa to add around 70 photographs I took in Faroe and Iceland in 2013 to the on-line edition of William Morris’s Icelandic Journals. You can view them here. These were augmented by a further trip to Iceland in 2017.
I have no formal photographic training, though I did do a post grad degree in Film Studies at PCL in the late 1970s. I am a member of the Royal Photographic Society and the co-convenor of the Oxford Photographer’s Group.
I retain the copyright on all my photographs, both on this site and elsewhere.