Shutter Hub OPEN 2018

18 September 18

Posted at 4:14

Whilst documenting Riga in Latvia for Project 28 one of my most memorable experiences was a visit to the Salaspils Memorial.

Whilst in Riga I read about the Salaspils Concentration Camp  which is located just beyond the boundary of Riga. The concentration camp was run by the Nazis during WW2. The camp housed thousands of German Jews, Soviet POWs and left wing Latvians. The Salaspils Memorial on the site of the concentration camp can be reached by train to Darzini and then a walk of two or three kilometres. I took the train to Darzini and disembarked on to a lonely platform with a brick shelter and nothing else in sight apart from trees. Paths led in all directions through the woods. It took me a while to spot a tiny sign on a tree identifying the correct path to take. After a walk through the dense woods with just a couple of small signs confirming I was on the correct route I came a cross Salaspils and it was quite a shock.

At the entrance there is a concrete block housing a walkway it is a 100 metre long ramp signifying a stairway to heaven. On the front of it are inscribed the words in Latvian “AIZ SIEM VARTIEM VAID ZEME” English translation “Beyond this Gate, the Earth Moans”. As you proceed past the ramp to the left is a large black marble block which houses a metronome, the block is called the "Reminding Heart", the constant heart beat from the metronome breaks the eery silence, echoing throughout the vast area of the memorial. Ahead is a clearing in the forest, around the edges stone memorials and concreted slabs. In the centre there are massive stone sculptures built and left by the Soviets as a memorial. They stand in groups, square-jawed and arms outstretched, holding each other up in support, kneeling or stretching out in exhaustion across the grass.

MotherMother - Salaspils Memorial Ensemble


This image of one of the stone sculptures, Mother, has been selected for Shutter Hub's OPEN 2018 Exibition.

I have visited many war memorials around the world but have seen nothing on this scale. Being there alone with the heartbeat constantly booming is quite daunting. It creates an atmosphere provoking thoughts of what this camp meant to those imprisoned and in many cases dying there.




My Project 28 Experiences. Number One - Boston

29 August 18

Posted at 8:49

My Project 28 Experiences is a series of blog posts recounting my impressions of the towns I visited for the project. Anecdote, opinion and comment, sharing my personal journeys. I hope you find them of interest.

On 10th August 2016 I made the first of the eleven journeys that would be required to travel to all twenty-eight states

Boston 116 miles north of London and just 80 miles north of my home but this would be my first visit. I travelled by car. On route it was clear that local industries are food production, both agriculture and food processing factories. Arriving in the market square, dominated by St Botolph’s Church known as the Stump, the town appeared to be a typical English market town. Soon after arriving I climbed the 209 steps of the Stump’s tower and set a precedent repeated in many towns throughout my journeys of climbing towers to capture aerial images and to familiarise myself with the town layout.

Boston Market Square and the StumpSt Botolphs and the Market Square


Another precedent was for me to stay in an AirBnB room. Boston was my first experience of using AirBnB. Having now stayed on numerous occasions something that is common across Europe is the wonderful AirBnB hosts. Without exception I have found them kind, helpful and genuinely interested in their guests. James, my host in Boston was no exception. When he heard about my EU project he offered his opinion of Boston, the referendum result and plenty more.

James, himself is an immigrant, not from the EU but from the USA. James has lived in Boston for 25 years, he owns numerous properties that he lets as bedsits, flats etc. After I shared my project with James he took some joy in telling me that the vast majority of his tenants are from the EU, Polish, Romanian and Portuguese. None are ‘on benefits’ His only tenants on benefits are an English family. Also he has never had any trouble from an immigrant tenant. The only real trouble James has experienced was a local guy who rented a room, most likely for an extra-marital liaison, who ended up stabbing one of the fellow tenants. James added that was actually in the room I was renting – thanks for that James! He went on to share his view of the indigenous population, “They are mostly Boguns,” he volunteered.

I was determined to get the locals view so I spent an evening in a pub on the edge of an estate a short walk from the town centre. It was poker in the pub evening, a pastime I am quite partial to. As a stranger I was welcomed and I was pleased to see that the ‘school’ was made up of a disparate group in terms of age, gender etc. They appeared a fair cross section of the community. During my time in Boston I was struck by the totally different economic situation just 80 miles from where I live. I had witnessed the economic at the market held at Bargate Green on Wednesdays where an outdoor auction takes place between 09:00 and 13:00. The ‘goods’ to be auctioned set up in endless lines across the car park for inspection. The auctioneer and his assistant, both images of what comes to my mind when I hear the term ‘Bogun’ enthusiastically take bids on an eclectic and eccentric array of what can only be described as junk. Lots such as ‘three garden canes and a golf putter’, a ‘well worn Eddie Stobart jacket’, a ‘Sgt. Peppers album in a sleeve but minus the cover’. It reminded me of the street off of Brick Lane in the sixties.

UntitledAutioneers at Bargate Green with a nice glass table on offer


Back to the poker it was just £2 to play which included a sandwich at the break (where I live it would be £15 at least) prizes were simply points in the national league and pride. I told those assembled about my project and why I had chosen Boston. There was a consensus that had David Cameron arrived back from Brussels with an agreement to reduce, to stem the flow, of EU immigrants then the vote would have been to remain. Not to stop immigration, the Poles and Romanians contributed to the local economy, they did the jobs the locals don’t want to do. They were accepted and welcomed. There were simply a disproportionate number that meant they now were impacting local business and traders, and also changing the character of Boston too far too quickly. Only one amongst them, an out and out racist, did not subscribe to this theory. His peers even chastised him for his racist opinions. So the decision to leave the EU was down to David Cameron’s failings not the voters of Boston being anti immigration, they said.

During the evening a couple of young men, quite clearly Eastern European, enquired about the poker in the pub. I noted they did not receive the warm welcome I had experienced. The most moderate of the group, the one who had led the David Cameron debate, told them the rules and the process but did so with an air of negativity. He closed with “come along any Wednesday at 8pm, we’ll look forward to seeing you. The more the merrier." The manner in which he delivered those words clearly implied that he meant “you are not wanted round here, don’t come back”. Thank goodness the racist didn’t deal with them!

David Cameron indeed!! A few hours and a couple of beers here said to me James’s assessment was pretty much on the money. Of course I will still be free to travel to Boston once we leave the EU. Somehow I doubt I will.

Boston From St Botolph



July 20th

15 July 18

Posted at 12:10

Sosnowiec, PolandSosnowiec

An as yet unpublished image from Sosnowiec, Poland.

The book, 28, will be released this coming Friday 20th July. The pre-orders will be despatched soon after. I am overwhelmed by the interest and support there has been even prior to publication. It is looking as though the first edition will be a complete sell out. There are of course copies still available  here  or via the contact page.

The website gallery is slowly being populated with images from Project 28 along with anecdotes and information. 

The project has received more positive exposure recently from Shutter Hub in their 2018 Summer Good News blog, scroll down on the link to take a look and while you are there checkout the site there is some amazing photographers work there.


28 The Book is now available to order

27 June 18

Posted at 9:32

A hand made, self-published, first edition of thirty-five photo books. Fifty-two A5 pages containing twenty-eight images, one from each country of the EU, with nine two page spreads.
Indigo printing on Popset Brilliant White 170gsm paper creating the highest quality images coupled with lovingly crafted hand binding with exposed stitching and tails (in the colours of the EU) results in a most unique and rare book. Every copy will be numbered and signed by the author. The book is now available for purchase from the project website here or contact me direct
As there are only thirty-five available in this edition if you wish to avoid disappointment and reserve a copy now. The price is £55.
The book is the first output of my project. There will be an exhibition in March 2019 to coincide with the UK's exit (or not!!!) from the EU  - either way Project 28's reflection on the rich tapestry of the twenty eight countries of the EU in 2016/7 will still be relevant.


Book News

17 June 18

Posted at 3:50

Boston Market Square and the Stump

Boston Market Square and the Stump

On 11th August 2016 I took the first photograph of Project 28. Now in June 2018 nearly two years later I have reached a significant milestone as the book '28'  is about to be published. that is 'self published'. So long as I approve colour proofing next week the book will be available to purchase three weeks later. The travelling, shooting, processing, editing, stressing, negotiating, fretting, threatening to give up, designing, reviewing is now complete. Relief! My mind has now turned to an exhibition in March 2019 to coincide with the UK's exit (or not) from the EU. Well in actual fact my mind is currently focussed on creating a sales page on this website so folk may purchase the book but that will be sorted this week I'm sure.

It has been some journey and over the last few months it seemed I would never reach this point but here we are!