Born in Dublin, Ireland, my journey in image making began when I was around eight years old. I must have expressed an interest in photography because Santa Claus placed a beginner’s photo chemistry kit under our Christmas tree.
My parents had a old fashioned brass bed with heavy blankets that reached the ground. It was under there that I set up my “alchemists cave” and began a life long experiment in image making.
For me there is a need to express something more than the perfect likeness that the camera captures, an inherent wish for the input of the ... Read More
artist to be felt in the work. Within a very short space of time I began trying to enhance my images using various techniques, including applying tints from the kits that, in those distant days, came with Kodak black and white kits.
I worked in several studios in Dublin, Ireland and London, England and San Francisco and had the priceless opportunity to work with some great professionals. During that time I had access to state of the art darkrooms in which to further my experiments with color, textures, tints and to explore printing techniques both traditional and contemporary.
The work of such photographers as Nikolai Andreev, Robert Demachy, and Alvin Langdon Coburn intrigued me, I suppose their work touched a nerve. Investigating their art lead to my using techniques such as image lifts, adding pigments, layers of texture, the painted backgrounds that give my work the look and feel it has today.
Over the years these techniques evolved on the road to finding my own voice in the world. I suppose, in a way, the pursuit of art is a search for your own voice. I have been lucky enough to have found a path to mine, and more importantly been able to share it with those who enjoy what I do.
It was a long and interesting development. The work I produced for my first exhibition in 1982, clearly showed the birth of an style that leads to the images of today.
Now I think of my camera as part of a process, a foundation really, providing images and ideas on the road to the final work. I am inspired by the way layers influence each other, enhancing one, muting another, creating new blends and atmospheres, they become part of each other. My work reflects this interaction, building my images with transparent or opaque layers that, laid over and blended with each other form the final image.
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