University: Plymouth University
Statement: PZ is about my home town Penzance. It shows the underbelly of the “quaint town by the sea” image that Penzance and Cornwall general has, showing the weird and wonderful town in its true colours. I’m proud of my Cornish roots and I think that it’s really important to keep making work about where I'm from. I create work using my Contax T2 or Nikon FM2 cameras, I like to work with film for so many reasons but I love the fact that you can only see what you have once you get your films developed, is always such a great surprise.
What university did you attend and when did you graduate? I went to Plymouth University to study BA Hons Photography and graduated in 2013.
What is your favourite photobook by another photographer? This is such a tough question to answer! But I think if I had to pick one it would have to be Paul Graham’s “End of an Age”. The image themselves, the colour, the film grain and layout of the book is all so inspiring, I could flick through its pages for days! Its so inspiring the way he has managed to really capture the emotion and reality of clubbing in such still and quite images, pausing, taking a breath before heading back to the dance floor, sweat and dilated pupils really communicates that feeling so well I can only aspire to create something like that one day!
Direction: My route into photography sounds rather cheesy but really it’s that I was given a camera and loved what it allowed me to create. This lead me to go to university and study photography, it was the best decision I have ever made. My lecturers at university really encouraged me to immerse myself in other artists books like Paul Graham, Alec Soth, William Eggleston & Wolfgang Tilmans. I felt inspired by how they could make images talk to each other to create stories without words. Bookmaking is so exciting as I love the tactile nature of making books from scratch. With PZ, publisher relations were probably simpler than most as Oli Udy from Antler Press (www.antlerpress.co.uk) who printed and edited this book was my lecturer at uni so I was able to have real conversations about the zine and knew I could trust him with its direction.
Considerations: For this particular publication I didn’t have control over things like paper stock etc. as it was published as an Antler Document and they all have a uniform style. However, when making my self published books like “We Don’t Have To Act Like This” and “Flotilla” I was able to make all of these decisions myself, I like to used recycled paper stock and use a local printers because then I was able to have a real conversation rather than emailing across ideas and instructions. I think this has got to be one of the best things to do when self publishing because it’s so much quicker and simpler than leaving it up to someone else!
Interior: I chose to write a poem as accompanying text rather than longer block of text because I felt it was more personal and allowed me to add humour to the work, something that I love working into my practice. For this who don’t know Dreckly is a Cornish word that essentially means “at some point in the future; soon, but not immediately”.
With salty skin and sun bleached hair,
Seagulls flying through the air,
The end of the line,
My guilty pleasure,
Slower, calmer, better weather,
Dreckly, well, we’ll do it when we’re ready,
So have a pint, have three but make sure ‘e’ share with me,
Like our fathers and our grandfathers and all before we.
Although I'd never claim to be a ‘poet’, I do love writing accompanying poems as it allows me to incorporate humour into my work, something that I feel is very important to it.
Inspiration: Regarding inspiration, I'd have to choose works like that of Nan Golding, William Eggleston, and Paul Graham, though my subject matter may not be quite so profound, what I take inspiration from is how they reveal the hidden underbelly that people don’t see. I love photographing my hometown for this reason, as I mentioned before the image on Penzance and Cornwall to the rest if the country is usually that of beautiful landscapes and quiet sleepy towns. I know from my own experiences that this is not the case; yes we may live in a beautiful place, but there is something odd and wonderful about being at the end of the train tracks, feeling cut off from the rest of the world definitely has an influence on the mind-set of the people here. It’s unlike anywhere else I've visited; a night out in Penzance is one you won’t forget.
Advice and Future Goals: My advice for anyone wanting to make a zine or photobook would be just to go for it; the worst that can happen is you end up with a box of books that no one wants. But seriously, if you like what you’ve created why not share it with the world and I think that books are one of the best ways to do that. I love that people all over the world have copies of my books. Things happen when you keep working hard and making good work, so perceiver!
Future goals for myself are to keep making work, make books and zines, take part in shows, and currently I'm working on a project with The National Maritime Museum Cornwall that will be open in March 2017. This will result in my work being exhibited there alongside a zine to show a larger selection of the work created for the project.