What’s your background?
As a student, I decided to study sciences and keep photography as a hobby, but I still spent many hours using the darkrooms in my Newcastle University halls. Even twenty-five years ago my pictures were about capturing rural life in the North East.
After a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Animal Behaviour, I worked on wildlife conservation projects based first in West and then in East Africa, followed by Oxford and, finally, a rural development project for North York Moors National Park.
It wasn’t until 2012 that I turned back to photography, buying my first DSLR (having eventually accepted that my old, rainforest-mould-infested-Pentax was beyond repair) and signing up for a diploma in photography, which I completed in 2013.
Explain what you do in 100 words.
I photograph rural life and landscape in North Yorkshire. Seeking light and shadow, people and goings-on, I record the small, often unseen moments to portray fragments of rural history. My limited edition black and white images aim to capture the beauty of rural life, as well as the allure of the natural world, telling a contemporary story of the fabric of the countryside through its people and landscapes.
What five words best describe your work?
Evocative, black and white, rural life.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working towards my first solo show at Helmsley Arts Centre in November this year.
Which three artists most inspire you?
James Ravilious, Edwin Smith, Martin Parr.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Even when you are not outwardly working on a project, it is still developing in your head.
Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire?
My home village, Ampleforth for the stories it holds.
Tell us something we don’t know.
This week I heard that I didn’t get through to the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition for 2015… but I did get into the final 150 images (from almost 5,000 entries), and through to the second round of judging. So I’m beaming.