THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN POSTPONED
A unique event discussing law and protest by leading protest practitioners
and hosted by Doughty Street Chambers London.
This event aims to leave you inspired by protest, by providing an overview
of the state of protest law, and mapping the changing nature of policing
protest from Greenham Common to Extinction Rebellion.
The event is combined with my COMMON PEOPLE photography exhibition
which is currently on show in the Doughty Street Chambers private gallery
and will form a visual backdrop to the evening.
If you would like to attend the talk on Thursday 26th March, please message
Many thanks to Feng Gu at The China Photography Association for
featuring my work in their magazine.
Here is a translation of the interview :
1 Could you tell me your experiences in photography?
I studied photography at Salisbury College of Art before moving to
London to work for four years as an apprentice, mainly to the music
and portrait photographer Mike Owen; he introduced me to the legendary
surrealist photographer Angus McBean whom I also had the pleasure of
I set up on my own in 1990.
2 Introduce your job of commercial photography? Do you take documentary
photography now? How do you deal with the relationship of commercial
photography and documentary photography?
Most of my commercial work comes via A&R Creative Agency – a wonderful
team who have represented me for 25 years. I am regularly commissioned
for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and portraiture assignments - recent clients
include NBC/The Bi-Life, Triumph, Elle Germany and Stella Telegraph magazine.
I am also known for my portrait photography. My work has been selected for
both catalogue cover and poster campaign for the Taylor Wessing Photographic
Portrait Prize at The National Portrait Gallery London; and I have won the
AOP best in category award for portraiture at the Association of Photographer’s
Awards. Recent sittings include the Olympian athlete Tessa Sanderson CBE,
the MP Dr.Rosena Allin-Khan, Buddhist nun Emma Slade, the girl band
Bananarama, and Ayda Field Williams.
I am considering working on a new documentary project, but nothing has
been decided upon yet.
3 What is the Greenham Common Peace Camp? Could you introduce it to
our Chinese readers?
Greenham Common is a former British RAF (Royal Air Force) base. During
the Cold War period in the 1980s the British government allowed American
nuclear missiles to be installed there. Many people were outraged at
this act and a group of women demonstrators made a peaceful protest by
walking 100 miles from Wales to Greenham Common. The number of protestors
eventually grew into thousands and Peace Camps were set up encircling
the base and became women-only. Their mission, to peacefully disrupt
the movement and deployment of nuclear missiles.
4 Did you join it? Tell some stories about it and you?
I was a photography student during the mid-1980s and visited the
Peace Camp for my final year project. I stayed at Greenham for a
couple of weeks during a very cold winter - sleeping under tarpaulin,
eating donated food and wearing donated clothes. Every morning police
and bailiffs would evict us from the site, and as soon as they had
left we would return to relight the campfire for warmth, tea, talk
and songs; and some women would plot and plan and eventually by
nightfall would cut through the wire fence that surrounded the base,
and often be arrested found sitting alongside a nuclear missile.
5 When you shot these photos of COMMON PEOPLE did you you think there
will be an exhibition of your work 30 years later?
No, not at all, the pictures have been stored in my negative files
until only last year.
6 What do you want to convey through these photos?
My pictures mainly show quiet, domestic life at the Peace Camp. I realise
now that this vision is possibly unique, as by excluding all men from
the camps would have also meant excluding most photographers, as photography
at that time was very much male dominated.
7 How do you think the photography experiences affected your later
As a student I was interested in both documentary and fashion photography.
As a professional photographer I fell into working in the fashion industry
as I was inspired by the photographers, mainly fashion photographers, whom
I had assisted. In recent years I have been working towards more portrait
commissions as I like to show a reality and truth in my work. Re-visiting
my Greenham pictures has made me reconsider my early thoughts on documentary
photography and I am now looking for new ways I can take this forward in my
8 What do you think about as a woman photographer in shooting beauty,
I believe that whatever genre of photography I choose to work in – beauty,
fashion, lifestyle, portraiture, documentary etc - my creative style
as a photographer is as individual and unique as the personality of
any photographer, regardless of gender.
9 How many years do you take photography as a career? And How do you
keep your passion alive in photography?
Next year I will be celebrating thirty years as a professional photographer.
The advent of digital cameras was definitely a moment that boosted my
passion for photography – I often prefer to work with daylight, so the
extra film and shutter speeds combined with auto-focusing allowed me
to push the boundaries of my vision.
10 Could you give some advice to our readers about how to take a nice
A ‘nice’ photograph doesn’t have to be technically perfect, but I think
it does have to convey something of a message to it’s audience. There is
usually a reason for taking a photograph so it is important that your
audience understands the message or story you are trying to convey.
Photography like art is only ‘nice’ if the viewer believes it to be so.
I always question my own work by asking myself “Is it real..?”
“do I believe..?”.
COMMON PEOPLE can be seen at the Greenham Common Control Tower
until this Saturday 9th March.