I think we are all fascinated by graveyards and the stone memorials, particularly those attached to churches dating back hundreds of years. According to local records, the cemetery at the Holy Trinity church in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire has existed since the early 13th Century. Just to reassure you, this isn’t a morbid preoccupation of mine, I just like the sculptural qualities of the headstones and the often delicate engravings and relief carvings that accompany them. In the older graveyards the stone surfaces are extremely weathered and often exhibit a rich and elaborate patina of lichen and moss. This transformative process enlivens the colours and texture of the stone.

When I took these photographs around midday, the sun was very bright and i decided to focus on a monochrome interpretation and the extremes of light and shade.

A mountain bike is a gift to anyone interested in landscape photography and I really should have considered buying one before. Yes, even here in the flat mountain-less terrain of the Cambridgeshire Fens there are endless opportunities to leave the road and follow byways and trails across the open countryside. Photographers are always in search of different vantage points, new perspectives and fresh ways of representing familiar scenes. If I left the road on my old hybrid bike it was impossible to progress more than a few yards and then a puncture from a thorn or sharp stone was more or less guaranteed. Well, I have just discovered that a mountain bike is an entirely different proposition…who knew?

I stumbled across this wall of abandoned haystacks just off Adventurer’s Drove near the village of Pymoor. The reason I stopped had nothing to do with the haystacks but the discovery of three World War 11 ‘pill boxes’ in various states of decay. Local farmers had clearly been using them over the years as makeshift storage for agricultural supplies etc. There is no doubt that these defensive bunkers are very powerful and evocative structures, immediately conjuring a host of memories and images from the past. As I reflected on the purpose and role of these buildings I looked towards the haystacks; a hallucinatory image of submarine wreckage briefly materialised at the side of the road.

The Waltzer, Fairground Ride
The Waltzer, Fairground Ride

I have always been fascinated by Fairgrounds and Fairground artwork and, let me say quite clearly, it is art. The life and energy conveyed by the fabulous array of lettering and graphics is quite simply stunning. These photographs were taken recently at Thurston’s Fun Fair at Saffron Walden held on the Common in the centre of town. I have done very little post processing because I didn’t need to, the images are great because of the extraordinary talents of the ‘sign-writers’ or digital designers… and not because of any tweaking I may have done. They remind me so much of the 1960’s hyper realist art movement and painters such as Ralph Goings and Richard Estes with their images of everyday life in America including hamburgers, cars, street signs, shop fronts and window displays. In a sense I have simply been recycling these techniques and given them a slight painterly quality…thus closing, or maybe continuing the circular relationship between photography and painting.

This is a painting about music, rhythm and the rich aural textures and the timbre of sound. The chords and colours of the painting reflect my interest in the acoustic guitar, its tonal range and versatility. The curved and straight lines found in the shape and structure of the instrument are used to provide contrast and compositional harmony. Elements of Cubism are evident in the multi-faceted viewpoints and the intersection of foreground and background spaces.

‘Counterpoint’ 75 x 52 x 4 cm on Canvas
Detail
Detail