Growing up in the 1940s and 50s, I witnessed the last days of picture news magazines like Picture Post. Photography then seemed to be the medium of the moment, second only to cinema, and still cameras in particular could be used to discover, isolate and communicate what mattered about the human condition in new and direct but still individual ways. It was a period when humane attitudes were still more central to public life. Working for magazines and publishers, I amassed many thousands of images taken all over England during the 1960s and 70s, while teaching later allowed me both the time and independence to work on personal projects as well as on editing this work into groups of images that had most meaning for me, some of which were published in book form as “How We Are” in 1971.
In 1979 I moved to Lincolnshire to take up a teaching position and spent the next two to three years photographing the village in which I had settled, Corby Glen.
Over the next 25 years I continued to edit my photographs into short sequences, now called ‘narratives’, whose logic often ignored the absence of literal links between subjects and culminated in a somewhat esoteric kind of self-portrait made up with images all of which echoed emotional elements in my own life.
During this period I also took new photographs, now in colour and designed to propose a metaphorical dimension to more conventional documentary images of both family and political life in order to suggest emotional relationships between all three elements.
My most recent work involved spending much of 2010 & 11 photographing an organic farm near Boston which, although superficially a straightforward documentary project, was also a portrait of the owner - Andrew Dennis, for whom the farm seemed to represent aspects of his inner world. Much like an artist, he spends his life moulding what was an inheritance, a piece of land - and its working people, so as to express an intimate sense of himself and his values, while also protecting the place itself. Woodlands Farm could well be called Andrewlands.