A few years back I did an access course at Exeter College, with a view to going on to do an art degree. The degree never happened but the access course itself was a catalyst. I'd all but abandoned any artistic notions I might have had as an arrogant and v annoying youth and was living in a dreadful hovel on the top of a draughty hill in Devon when I started to think that I should maybe start drawing stuff again. The course was a largely enjoyable, quite intense arty gauntlet which took in a bit of most visual art disciplines. My favourite remained boring old drawing, but I also got to do an awful lot of photography, using a variety of cameras exploring a wide range of styles. I had previous experience in a dark room having been taught how to develop photos as a teenager slightly mysteriously by my dad who seems to know how to do about 80% of everything. But I'm not naturally suited to the darkroom. I've got little patience with tweaking exposures and test prints and all that guff, hence the pictures I took as a kid were largely technically dreadful. Under the scrutiny of a tutor things slightly improved and although I knew I was never going to become a great photographer I could see how using photography, especially using film, could really lend itself to my drawing. The other day I was clearing out my studio, and as it happens and in the interests of transparency I did not find the photographs stashed away but it made me think about them. I found the tin can I had made as part of a book cover for William Boyd's brilliant novel Any Human Heart which set me off on a quest to find the photograph I had taken of it.
I can't find it, and having found the contact sheets, think I may have been underwhelmed by the final result but I did find lots of the other photos I took and printed. They were all taken in 2015-16 in mid Devon. Here are a few - they are technically pretty dreadful as I am far too slapdash but I think some of them are pretty nice images. I'm really not sure how interesting they would be to anyone else, I can't be nearly objective enough about them but I thought they were sort of indicative of where I was going style wise, and where I've ended up.