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Some questions answered

1) Why do you love photography?

My first camera was given to me at the age of 8. I used it to take photographs of holidays and sleep overs. I was always interested in art as well, and in my teenage years I realised that I could have a lot of fun working with the photographic image. I started in film photography, and I still do it now. Photography is a powerful tool of expression. It allows me to take ‘reality’ and shake it about.

2) Please kindly tell me briefly what #wearexperimenting project is all about.

#wearexperimenting is a project that I have have created for a commission from the Cultural Spring and NEPN. The commission was called Dark Skies/Blue Skies, and they asked for someone to pitch a project to combine the cross currents of science and photography; and to do this in a participatory style for the people of Sunderland. I have lived and worked in Sunderland all of my life. I am part of the community, and I care deeply about the people who live here. I wanted to use the project to encourage people to work together, and to experiment with different modes of photography.

3) Why have you chosen to fuse science with photography?

Photography and science are close bedfellows. There is a natural relationship that has blossomed because of the unique properties of the photographic image, making it perfect for observation purposes.

And, observation in-turn is an integral part of science. We use photography in many different ways to intently observe the universe and our place within it. We can compress time, or we can draw it out, to see the fine details of existence that we would not be able to see without the mechanical aid of the camera.

4) Why do you think exposure to events like #wearexperimenting is important to the city of Sunderland?

In the project I have introduced the public to microscopy, cyanotype printing, building cameras, using chemical processes, and hopefully have created a fun environment for people to learn about:
• physics (light)
• chemistry (photographic chemicals),
• biology (microscopy),
• astronomy (by linking up with Kielder Observatory),
• and for people to consider anthropological questions through internet participation.

I want to reduce the stigma that Science, photography and creative thinking are out of reach pursuits.

Intelligence and practicality must be celebrated and encouraged at all times.

Geek chic is the way forward!

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