CHATEAU

These photographs were taken in the Province of Quebec, Canada. The statuary was completed in the first part of the 21st century.

ASIAN SNOOKER

Most of these pictures were taken in a snooker hall outside Bangkok's central area, off the tourist radar.  Male customers played while women passed cues, arranged balls and watched.

My images set out to convey the male players' intensity and absorption in the game juxtaposed with the helpers - young brightly dressed and at times bored women.  This work explores composition, colour, and most of all emotional space.

TRAM PORTRAITS

My tram project began accidentally in 2009, with several cold and damp days in Riga. Faces behind glass, journeying – perhaps between work and home – and drifting in thought, half conscious of surroundings.  In Milan, chosen for its extensive tram network, commuters were different yet, behind windows, carried a similar sense of time suspended. Returning some months later to Riga and my strategic spot, I waited and watched to the echoes of nighttime trams clanking and grinding towards the Central Market.

MACHINE TOOLS

I think of them as "industrial still lives", compositions using cutters from the stock room of a gear making factory.  Yellow dots were used to identify cutting teeth after they had been sharpened.

TANNERY SERIES

This series is set in one of Canada's last remaining fur tanneries.  It explores the rich textures and forms of machinery, some of which dates back over a century.  Images range from descriptive to more abstract.

VERMONT CORNER STORE PORTRAITS

This is more than a place to buy a twelve pack or gallon of milk. Almost every customer is known by name. And if you have time for a coffee, gossip, and perhaps to rail against the latest community outrages, you are unlikely to find yourself alone.  My role, thanks to a lively and generous owner, was to squeeze behind the counter, photograph customers, and in due course provide prints.  Here is part of that record.

RUSSIA

 In 2007 I put aside the distraction of my scientific career to revisit a Polaroid project I began in the USSR 25 years earlier. I set about changing the small images of women and the food they provided into 16 x 20 inch Giclée prints, using scale to transform the obsolescent icon of the Polaroid image into a defiant gesture. Rather than restore the original colours I sought dramatic effect through a richer palette.

The story of the photographs began on December 12th 1981 when I stood up in a Tallin coffee house and used my Polaroid SX-70 to take a picture of the cake I had been served. Within seconds of the camera's flash I was mobbed with desperate requests for portraits by a clientele steeped in the privations of a Soviet winter. The demand was clearly insatiable, even with my generous supply of film. At this point I felt I had two choices; to abandon the cake and run, or to impose order on the situation. Without a word of Estonian or Russian, the unique character of Polaroid photography served as my language for convincing an apprehensive waitress to pose in exchange for a photograph. This was perceived as our arrangement and the commotion evaporated. And what could be more persuasive than the astonishing materialization of a photographed serving alongside its actuality?

Another part of my Russian portfolio is based on slides taken in Soviet Tallin and Leningrad in the winter of 1981. When I recently came across my old images I was struck by the atmosphere of a now distant world. Fascinated by the possibilities of reshaping old images to be seen in a new way, I set about transforming the slides to dramatize and simplify their qualities of emptiness, light, and colour.

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