June 01, 2020
“You should take photos of want you want. That’s punk!” Joe Strummer
I’ve been in a love affair with punk since my teens. The music, the fashion, the ethos and ideology. The spirit of rebellion and spontaneity, excess and liberty. The stripped back, DIY philosophy. It gave me something to believe in and live for, an anarchic voice of reason in a mundane Midlands town. A sense of belonging to something bigger, louder and more urgent than my day to day melancholy in inner suburbia. A feeling that anything is possible. Punk was my escape.
I bought a camera aged 16 and immersed myself in punk culture; hanging around music venues, being trampled in the mosh pit, blagging my way backstage, eventually joining artists on national tours, I wanted to capture it all, undiluted and raw.
I love the chaos of a backstage area before a show, the intensity of energy building as the venue fills up and the artists prepare to unleash themselves on stage. I like to capture poised portraits amidst the chaos of life, small moments of still against a backdrop of buzz and fuzz, against the clock of a washing machine in a laundrette, at the top of an escalator in a busy train station, a spontaneous snap of a last minute smoke before curtain call and in contrast, the momentary backstage lull as the show gets underway. I take my camera to places that are hard to access. I enjoy capturing candid moments, recreating classic high contrast photographs in modern settings, curating shots under pressure in a bustling environment. My shots document flashing chances of calm and composure in a busy world.
Punk is in my veins and informs the way that I work, fast paced and low key. It has emboldened me to kick open doors and force my way in.