L9994753_low res

Riding the ferry to North Uist

It comes in, slowly at first, but it moves in waves and it’s impossible to resist. Just like the ocean’s movement it draws you inwards and then further away. It feels as though it’s playing with you as a cat does with the prey it’s caught but not yet decided to kill.
In then out with a pause in between. It’s akin to an organism breathing however the fear level rises with each fresh cycle.

It has it’s root in that which is unknown.

What does tomorrow hold for me?


Where to Begin

A tender allegory about impossible love, madness and solitude.

There always has to be a starting place for ideas that may grow into projects and these words seem to be just that this time around.

The Revista Ojos Rojos blog led me to this article about the publication of Wim Wender’s book Written in the West, Revisited that will be available from July 2015. This has led me to contemplating the impact that the visuals from films such as Paris, Texas (Wenders), Lost Highway (Lynch), The Last Wave (Weir), Lawrence of Arabia (Lean)

Although bleak these places hold a compelling attraction for me. They always have done. There seems to be nothing whilst at the same time something. A vast emptiness devoid of people but dotted with evidence of human habitation in the form of buildings, signs, roads, vehicles.
A sense that things rarely happen. That I can get lost. Be unknown. Have no past and no future just be present.


Empty places

Partly abandoned and forgotten about. Places where most fear to enter.

Not derelict in the manner of the impact of the property & banking collapse.
Derelict from a loss of love.
Not that the beloved has gone away – more like the visitor is unable to keep hold of love even if they manage to find it. It slips through their fingers as grains of sand do upon the beach.

The intention was there; to meet love, to be visited by love. However when love arrived then it’s energy and the consequence of it’s appearance in your life was so overwhelming that the impulse to withdraw from its arrival, no matter how much it was yearned for, became paramount.

A Knife to my Heart

This evening the show opens at LCC London that marks the culmination of the 2 year, online Masters in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography. I should be on a high….but I ain’t.
No excuses, no apologies. Just how it is.
However in the past 5 months I’ve achieved a film re-edit taking it from 16 minutes down to 3 minutes, designed (with Celine Marchbank) and printed a book as well as having a major role in setting up the #continuum___ exhibition that launches today @lcclondon.

All in all it feels as if I’ve taken a knife to my heart, cut out a large slice and am all set to discard it.


The Native Returns

I’m back, after a few months silence as I decided what happens next.
Together with the team – Richard, Alfie, Fionn and invaluable consultancy from Abi Hedderwick I’ve re-edited the film so that it now runs at just 3mins 06secs and it’s good to go.

Watch, listen and let your mind wander round the path of eternal suburban un-understanding.



Outer Circle Final Edit With Final Audio Mix Down for vimeo 08052015 from Shadows and Light on Vimeo.

Debt of Gratitude

I’ve finally finished this beast after 13 months of trying to make it happen. It began as the seed of an idea sloshing around in the back end of my head. I tentatively placed it down in a written form one evening in a room at the Hotel Angora, Rianxo whilst in Galicia shooting Darle Bicos O Mar during December days leading up to Christmas 2013. It was Martin Parr’s LCC talk that finally convinced me to turn it into a reality, shooting then began in May and ran until September. Post production ended 3 December 2014.
Without my team it would not have happened: Elena’s mandala painting, Maria’s organisation and co-ordination, Richard’s wizardry with Premiere Pro, Carlos’s dexterity at the mixing desk, Alfie creating subtle sound patterns, Hilmar for encouragement towards it’s realisation. And all of them together being able to cope with the vagaries of my instructions, as often I wasn’t that sure what I wanted to achieve.
The void has been embraced and is now owned by me.

In retrospect perhaps I ought to offer the biggest thanks of all to city of Birmingham?  It let me back in after I made the decision to take a risk. It may not have been easy but it’s certainly been worthwhile.

A project that began in the darkness has found it’s way into the light porque he dado luz a una cosa especial.


(On This Road) I Feel Like A Ghost – finished version from Shadows and Light on Vimeo.

Diary Entry: No 37

My father was a non-person

One after another, after another. Not all at the same time, usually in splurges with spaces in between – sometimes a few hours apart, other times with gaps of a week or more. Nevertheless they’ve kept on coming.

There was once a brief dialogue – to call it a conversation would be to give that handful of words a disservice and convert the exchange into something far more tangible than it in fact was. Yet its consequence as an exchange between a father and his son remains highly emotive. But it certainly acts as a clear example of where the confusion and internal dislocation lay.

A tall, slim, casually dressed man with black hair enters the sitting room unexpectedly. He has an interesting presence about him, is friendly and my curiosity is aroused. I’m sitting on the floor playing cards with a friend. This stranger looks towards me, smiles and in a gentle voice says, “You must be Julian?” I answer in the affirmative, he pauses briefly, turns and leaves. My friend immediately asks who he was to which all I can reply is, “I think he was my father”.

My friend didn’t understand how I could not know my own father. In fact neither did I and the encounter left a trail of confusion. I had no conception of just how I could now engage with this man who’d appeared and disappeared in a matter of seconds. I was powerless, lost. In front of my friend I felt foolish and therefore humiliated. It was to be another seven years before I came across him again and we were ‘officially’ introduced. Even so the pretentious value structure of suburbia persisted and everyone behaved then as if there was nothing out of the ordinary in our non-relationship.