The Plus Interview
How long did Half Light, 2016 take to shoot and what equipment did you use?
I began the series in September 2016 and made twelve images over the winter. The series is ongoing and will continue in the autumn when the wet weather returns.
I use a Pentax 645Z with a range of lens, a cable release, and my Manfrotto tripod and head. I use a fairly lightweight kit because I need to be able to walk fairly long distances carrying everything on my back.
It seems you like to go into the woods, why?
The woods is a place of continuous inspiration and discover, every time I go to a new place I find new ideas for images I would like to make. I hope to continue working in the woods as long as the ideas come.
What did you discover, or rediscover, about yourself and your youth while shooting this series?
Playing in the woods as a child involves learning about your environment, the beginnings of independence, decision making, discovering and learning about new materials, building, exploring and conquering your fears of the forest.
I have found that working in the woods as an adult holds elements of all these things too. It allows me to reconnect with the woodlands I played in as a child and for a short time to rediscover them, to experience some of those childhood fears and imaginings. Building and making new work in the forests always hold this appeal; a combination between the pleasure of being in the woodland spaces and a certain heightened awareness and sometimes fear that comes with being in the woods alone. I prefer to work alone because it focuses my concentration on the place, and helps me to bring this atmosphere and tension into my work for the viewer to experience also.
Both this series and your previous featured series, Stars, have a focus on landscape. How did you approach this topic differently in the new series?
In each series I use some formal element or intervention to alter the way the viewer interacts with the forest space. In my newest series Half Light I utilized the rivers and waterways of the New Forest. I made this series wading into the rivers and shooting back towards the riverbanks and the depths of the forests behind. These existing horizons create a visual separation between the viewer and the landscape beyond.
How do you feel about your upcoming exhibition? What next?
I am very much looking forward to my forthcoming solo exhibition at Crane Kalman Gallery in Knightsbridge, London. I will be showing 24 pieces of work including seven images from my news series Half Light, 2016. The show opens to the public on 22nd July and runs until 20th August 2016.
Later in 2016 my work will be included in The Singapore International Photography Festival 2016, and Landscapes at The Centre for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA) from 6 May – 10 June 2016.
Following this in 2017 I have a solo exhibition at the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in County Londonderry.