As well as working in the mediums of oil, charcoal and pencil, John was also a talented photographer. Here is a selection of his black and white photographs, mostly from the 1960’s. These photos were taken primarily as an aide memoir for John in his studio, as John did not paint ‘in the field’ as it were. John did his own developing and printing at home, and the roughness of some of the images, with clearly ripped edges in some cases, is indicative of his own view of his photos as merely a tool in the creative process. Despite this, I think these photos are of interest as photos in their own right and as records of a Britain now mostly gone – especially the North of England mill town shots such as those around Hebden Bridge – as well as giving an insight into his creative process.
As I was driving around the North West of England in the early 1980s most of the chimneys and old mills had disappeared already. John has helped to capture a time of change where the smoke from the chimneys had cleared but the mills, redundant and decaying had not been “repurposed”.
Included below are two photographs taken in John’s studio. The first in particular shows work in progress as the artist worked. The second shows a finished work on the easel.