Sawley, Derbyshire

Cows gather for milking on a farm next to All Saints Church, Yashica 124G 1981/82. Field trip for Trent Polytechnic photo students.

Living history


I photographed the prospectus for Newark Colledge in I think 1981 / 1982 as part of my photo course. I visited each department in turn but I remember best the visit to  the violin making department.

The students were from all over the world and I remember the calm but focused atmosphere. It turns out that the people I photographed then have gone on to be significant figures in their field.

Hans Johannsson had left a year or two earlier but I was asked by Brian FitzGibbon the director of a short documentary if I would supply some images taken in the early 80s, I was happy to do so. Its well woth a watch as the director has made a sensitive and well rounded overview of Hans’s journey.

I love the fact that Hans whilst respecting the past thinks above and beyond what has been to what could be an is still prepared to experiment.

A student of art 1980

Bernard in the kitchen at the first year student accomodation in Bayham street. I took the religious iconography as ironic but now I wonder.

Disparate objects

Trent Polytechnic photo course project: Disparate Objects. Take in approx 1981 age when done: 20
We were encouraged on the courses to complete set tasks, one of the tasks was to photograph two seemingly unrelated objects together.

I cannot remember where I came up with the idea of the safety pin and record for my “disparate objects”, like most ideas they just seem to pop into existence.

I cannot remember how I warped the record, perhaps I used the oven in the student accommodation?

In 1976/7 I was in my mid teens and ripe for being in the punk generation, some of my classmates were punks. I was more likely to be listening to the New Seekers at the time.
I like the idea of a “safety” pin destroying the “music” though of course we all know it was home taping that actually killed music.

Until now I thought my conceptual photography started at my time at Tony Stone  Images but clearly, thanks to the tutors at Trent Polytechnic it started here.

This was shot on a 5×4 studio camera using tungsten lights and FP4 black and white negative film.

Ian Holm

So sorry to hear of Ian Holms death today. A pretty good innings at 88 though.
I was fortunate enough to meet Ian Holm when he played Lech Wałęsa at Granada studios Manchester in 1981. I was there with Adam, a fellow photo student at Trent Polytechnic who was the son of the writer Boleslaw Sulik. He had written “Strike! the story of Solidarity”, the movement that eventually saw the collapse of Soviet control of Poland.
What I remember most was his good grace; he was kind to me, a young stranger who took photographs of him as he tried to relax and focus in the breaks between filming scenes. We  had a short chat about photography as it was also an interest of his wife.
I was struck that this humble man was completely grounded as he took center stage in depicting the story of the Polish freedom movement. A real pleasure to meet an extraordinary man.
In this photo Ian is talking to the writer Boleslaw.
Pentax K1000 camera, 50mm f2 lens, Ilford HP5 film rated at 400ASA.