Childhood picture

About

Childhood picture
A picture taken by my father of our family in our garden in Belgium when I was around six.

Who am I?

That’s a question I ask myself a lot these days, and all I know is that I’m an artist. For a long time I wasn’t really sure what kind.  

I started off writing comics, then reviewing them, with a long sting writting software, but it’s photography that really exites me. 

So I’m a photographer, I’m a writer, and weather I get paid for it or not I’m a blogger.

Writing has always been in my blood, but I began to notice photography at the age of nine on the walls of our house. I say house because I don’t feel like I ever really had a home  the way I’ve heard other people talk about it.

Images made of film and paper are different, they smell different and have a feel to them. It’s a smell of chemicals that stains some of my most vivid memories, like the prints themselves, they are saturated by that high acidic, almost sweet, acrid smell…

My father was a commercial photographer and a copywriter for one of the larger European advertising agencies. He had a darkroom in our basement strung with drying prints, and boxes of small cardboard clip frames for slides. A lot of people probably won’t even remember those, but at one time they were the de facto method for presenting high quality images using a projector. As time went on the cardboard became plastic, and so finally there was no dark room at all.

For what it’s worth I’m a portrait photographer who lives in Birmingham. I’m also a writer, and in my life I’ve been a software engineer, and a business consultant as well. Above all other things I am I like to think of myself as an artist 😉

In 2004 some money I’d wisely hidden away and forgotten about before my breakdown resurfaced, and though it wasn’t enough to change my life, it was enough to change it’s course. Then living in a homeless hostel I went out and bought a Nikon E5400, and built a computer from parts I’d collected from skips.

It’s in this form that I emerged as a photographer once more. I came back to it as a healing recovery process that lead me straight into the digital realm I had once been so proud to occupy as one of it’s creators.

I was placed in a one bedroom flat in Hackney by the council and I was free of the hostel, but trapped in poverty none the less. I began to wander round the market place taking pictures of strangers. It had a comforting feeling of childhood about it, even when my kitchen roof caved in. Memories of Belgium, and my father with multiple camera bodies strapped like ornaments to his waist, wandering through flea markets of Brussels. I wish I had more of his work, I wish I had that print of the boy and the wrought iron fence. There is little in life that I remember fondly from my childhood, but photography is one of them. It permeated my teenage years, and went on to save my life. You couldn’t really ask for more from an art form.

Now things are beginning to resolve themselves. Like the broken pieces of a broken vase left too long on a shelf some of them no longer fit together perfectly, but it still makes up a whole where once there where just shards. I’m thankful to whatever drew me back to that thing, made me pick up a camera, and started me back down a road that began so very long ago…

I shouldn’t really say that this is a personal blog, but it is separate from my business. I would rather say that it is a more personally artistic blog, in that all the work on here was created with only me in mind. Me and the viewer. The work on my professional site, as much as I still regard it as art, is a collaboration between me and the client. In that respect it can never be truly personal!

That doesn’t mean that it is not art, just that it’s art with a goal and vision that isn’t wholly my own. Everything on this site was made with my vision, and my goal in mind…

Thanks for reading

Barry

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