WHEN THINKING about photography, for me, the main questions have been around the capacity for photographic documentation to shed light on history and culture. How can photography, in the service of history, be more objective and thorough? How do we challenge and encourage veracity? how do we detect and address selectivity, bias and fakery? And what are the dynamics and interplay between word and image?
My writing has appeared in books by The National Portrait Gallery, Prestel, Kehrer, Howard Greenberg (New York), Photoworks (Brighton) and, in magazines including Photographic District News (New York) and British Journal of Photography (London). Subjects have included: Photography and the Weimar Republic; the so-called 'Arab Spring'; Birth of the USSR; Segregation in US Southern States, the legacy of Colombus, the plight of indigenous peoples in North America - through to revisionist appraisals of exponents within what is a highly-selective photography canon.
I have had published interviews with William Klein; Rineke Dijkstra; Wolfgang Tillmans; Peter Lindbergh; David Bailey; Cristina García Rodero; Rankin and Helmut Newton.
Current research interests include: the methodology and historic legacy of portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and, The Special Operations Executive (SOE 1940 to 1946) - a fascinating period in British Inteligence - when modern technological espinoage emerged and inspired naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming to write his Bond novels.
In 2020, I jointly curated and edited SHOT IN SOHO with Karen McQuaid - resulting in a book (Random House/Prestel) and an exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery (London) which looked into the history and culture of Soho. The Guardian called the show "a moving melancholic show that shuns the obvious" (Sean O'Hagan). The exhibition included talks, workshops. a silent film screening with live organ accompanyment and a drag and Soho music night at The Photographers' Gallery in Soho.
I am open to working on new projects involving investigation, editing, curating and public art.
Soho, London. Photograph by Kelvin Brodie, coutesy of NewsUK Archive.
Research into Yousuf Karsh with the kind permission of Library & Archives (LAC) Ottawa, Canada for Taschen New York.