‘The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.’

Samuel Johnson

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Certainly for me, travelling has always given me new perspective. Taking yourself out of your own environment and submerging instead in a different culture, environment and climate reawakens the senses. It gives a grounding, a change of viewpoint, an understanding.

In this wonderful age, it is so easy to connect with the world from our computers, so we must remember the value of physical travel, and to get out and interact if in the next town, or the next continent.

Take Gunther Holtorf. This man is probably the most epic traveller of our time. Since 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther and his wife Christine set out on a trip which they planned to be an 18 month tour of Africa….but Gunther is still going. With the blessing of his late wife, he is adding everyday to the 500,000 miles already travelled, every mile in the same Mercedes Benz G Wagon called ‘Otto’. Recently David Lemke (a canadian photographer) joined Gunther in Vietnam and there is a short video describing Gunther’s epic travels on YouTube here.

For those of you who don’t know The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, it is a wonderful organisation of about 11,000 members. It was founded in 1853 ‘to promote the Art and Science of Photography’.

In October 2010 I received the distinction of Associate of the Royal Photographic Society with this panel.

The Society recognises and awards 3 levels of distinction, the Licentiateship, the Associateship and the Fellowship. I got my Licentiate, awarded for competence in practical photography, back in 2002, see my LRPS panel here.

The Associateship, the second highest distinction is more specialised. The RPS states that an ARPS ‘is awarded for a high degree of proficiency and the demonstration of a high technical and visual competence in particular categories’. My chosen category was Visual Art.

My submission for the ARPS consisted of a panel of 15 mounted prints, a hanging plan and a ‘statement of intent’, describing my vision behind the body of work.

Statement of Intent:

Still Life on City Canvas
In modern times we rush around our busy urban landscape, often without observing our environment, missing the art in our daily life.

I am struck by streets and buildings worn by time, their strong geometry and their textures. I study the contrast between the textures of reflective windows and worn, discoloured, wet and dry concrete and the interplay of light on these surfaces. Abandoned or utilitarian objects form still life studies in this context. I see beauty and a weight of emotion in the decay.

In this visual art panel, I try to create crafted still life images, designed to evoke curiosity and emotion, from the canvas of everyday urban scenes.

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Going through my old slide transparencies, I’ve come across this Panel, for which I received my Licentiate distinction of the The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, back in 2002. It is awarded for competence in practical photography, and is the first of three possible distinctions. I got my Associate in 2010 (I’ll share that Panel shortly) and I am quietly working towards my Fellowship.

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Behance is a site which allows you to ‘Showcase and discover the latest work from top online portfolios by creative professionals across industries’. I thoroughly recommend spending some time wandering through these cyber-galleries. I guarantee you will find work which speaks to you.

There I discovered the work of Cally Whitham, a photographic artist from New Zealand. Her work transforms mundane and ordinary subjects in to romantic, dreamlike images. In her own words: ‘[Cally’s] work identifies aesthetic value where none appears apparent and invites viewers to reflect on our rural beginnings.’

These images are from her series entitled Flight. Something in the texture and colours of the images, the composition and tone, make me feel very peaceful. I wanted to share that with you.

See more of Cally’s work on her website and on Behance.

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