One of the questions I am most frequently asked is what drew me to photograph textures and why texture is so prominent in my work.

Texture is the look and feel of a surface and in photography this is captured through pattern, colour and depth. Texture is everywhere in simple and complex forms, it was not my intention in finding my photographic style that texture would feature so strongly. When I first began to take images of different subjects, apart from my son, I knew very little of the direction I wished to go.

From the beginning, I was unable to see the appeal in most common genres, I use that term loosely as within each genre there are of course sub-genres. Portraits for example, I have many favoured portraiture photographers, some of which leave me amazed in their creativity. It is hard to explain, but I am unable to take a good portrait, I take OK family snaps but I just don’t have the creativity to be anything more than that.

It was rust that first became the texture I photographed, it is recognisable, it is a texture that our fingertips have felt before. To look at something rusty, one can imagine the roughness, the smell, the strength, it is something that is easily related to. In an urban environment, rust is easily found and where rust has began other beautiful textures are also beginning.

Texture tells a story, how the subject began, which processes it has been through. It tells me what has happened in its lifetime, the transitions.

The use of texture in my work is to draw attention towards the subject, which in some instances is the texture itself.


‘Moondance’ – Abandoned power plant window in Belgium.

The patterns within the texture become more captivating than any other subject, the texture tells its own story. The purpose of art is to create an emotion in the viewer: intrigue, excitement, compassion.

What Would They Say

‘What Would They Say’ – Pripyat hospital ward wall, Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Whilst textures in themselves are artful, it is often the story of the textures that adds increasing depth. I once attended an exhibition of the works of american photographer Joel SternfeldOn This Site: Landscape in Memoriam (1997). Each image whilst seeming relatively ordinary, in terms of subject, was accompanied by a short history, I was awestruck. I will not go into details but I have included a link to Joel’s work above, click it and immerse in a few moments of humbling inspiration.

Art is a stimulation of senses, combined senses giving an increased intensified stimulation. A texture with the added memories formed by fingertips heightens experiences, drawing further memories. Whether it is the soft wool used by Grandma for knitting the jumpers you hated as a child or the flaking paint from your first experience with abandonment, a memory will be locked and linked, ready to be freed to enjoy.


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