In 2019 I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety and I decided that what I needed to do was something that I really enjoyed and could call my own. I happened to come across NEG35 by pure chance at The Hawth Theatre in February of that year. It brought back happy memories of taking photos and printing them when I was younger. Bingo!
I started off by borrowing a camera from the club and taking black and white pictures. After a couple of times in the dark room, I was trusted to use the equipment on my own. I realised that the whole process from taking the
photo to putting it in a frame was really therapeutic. It is a creative process that I am just beginning to discover. I could easily spend the whole day cocooned in the dark room and that process – laying out the trays, measuring and pouring out the chemicals, selecting the negatives, choosing the exposure time, bathing each piece of paper in each tray – all of this is a
wonderful mindful exercise that allows me to go to a whole different place and because of the concentration needed, my mind is at peace.
Eventually, I bought a second-hand Olympus OM30 and I am just getting to grips with it. I’ve also got an Olympus Trip (I remember the old adverts with David Bailey from a long time ago!) I’m having fun experimenting with this
new hobby and it is exciting to see where it will lead. I have started hand colouring my black and white prints and also experimenting with collage and mixed media.
In January 2020 we all went to see the Dora Marr exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. She is a woman after my own heart! I was immediately drawn to the tiny images right at the beginning of the exhibition, they make you work to see the detail and why not? I make contact sheets for all of my films and have used them in compositions. I love shadows but also colour, things on a grand scale but also the minutiae of every day life, surrealism, texture, children playing wild and free, faces.