I am greatly blessed to have spent most of my working career doing what I love to do – photography (and in more recent years, video also.) I’ve had opportunity to be in some wonderful places, meet some very cool people and enjoy countless experiences I would never have been able to if I held a desk job, pumped gas or flew jets. Photographing the All Blacks performing the haka before a test match at Eden park with a 40,000+ crowd, meeting musicians, supermodels, comedians and prime ministers etc. and having two little old Akha ladies telling me the wanted to abduct me and not let me leave their village are some of my life highlights. If I was not following my passion as a photographer they would not exist in my memory.
But, as we know, life is not always a bunch of roses. Making a living as a photographer is harder now than ever – largely because these days everyone has a camera (on their phone,) and in this digital age taking and publishing photos is so easy. Making money as a photographer means you need to be providing images that ‘the market’ needs and is willing to pay for. Whether I am working for a client or shooting for stock I must create photographs that will sell or that will satisfy the needs of my client.
Creating photographs to generate income or satisfy a non-profit organisation can be a lot different than creating photographs as art. Sometimes I get to combine the two, but not often in a pure sense. Mostly when I shot to earn money my creativity in inhibited. And, at the end of a long hard week (yes, it is hard work,) I have always struggled to pick up my camera just to make art … until recently.
During the past few years I have been working at breaking this impasse. In February 2012 I participated in a group exhibition ‘The Same Rain the Same Wind’ at the CMU gallery. This experience awakened my desire to create photo montages again and to develop further some photo/video montage techniques I had been experimenting with. I’d been encouraged at the time of the exhibition by a number of the other artists not to upload my photo/video montages online. They told me I needed to create a body of work to share to ensure I had ‘ownership’ of the style (everyone who sees them tells me they have not seen anything like them before.)
A few months back, after two of my print montages were on display at Focus Gallery, I was invited to hold a solo exhibition by the Le Meridian hotel here in Chiang Mai.
This has inspired a massive focus on just doing art! It has been the most intense period of artistic creativity in my life and I am excited to have this opportunity to share my montages. I now have 8 print montages and will have 10 or 12 photo/video montages for the show. We do not have a fixed date for the opening yet, but are looking at the beginning of September (around about the same time I turn 50!)
Click the montage to view a larger image.