Book Introduction - "The project, the book, has no title yet, as I write this; words aren't flowing well at the moment. A challenging phase of life has been reached - a relationship break up, a business break down, moving home, all happening at once - and it seems that much of what I am just might be built on sand. Which wouldnít be such an issue if the tide, in the shape of realisation and a wish to be the best I can be, wasnít in the process of coming in.
Itís been almost twenty years since I acted purely for me. During that time I've kicked against partners, probably in directions I'd never have bothered going in on my own accord, and also allowed myself to be heavily influenced by friends. Some of them, the artist Billy Childish for instance, have been of very strong opinions that Iíve been all too ready to take on board, not knowing if they were really my own or just those of somebody I admired. How can I be sure, now, as I sit here, that what Iíve become is a result of my own wishes, and experience, and not of those around me? Of course, I canít be.
I also have had a habit of taking refuge in what I think I have achieved. But even if my sort of achievement were worth anything, the past was not as the photos and the ready memories would have it portrayed. How ignorantly have I treated people around me? Very, although the photos wonít tell you that, naturally. Photos only relay the truth offered by their maker (hence the increased truth available in a pinhole image, which is made in conjunction with the world, and chance, both of which have no notion of falsehoods). And what of value could I have learned back then, as closed as I was, what knowledge that has formed the all too often immature views I spout so easily today, what use it that to me now?
Recently, whilst going through my possessions, to see what was important enough to join me in the car and what would be left behind, I came to the photo album. And there I was, from aged 14 onwards, all fake smile and self obsession, probably about to put the knife into goodness knows who's heart. What memories are these to hold onto? What point in remembering, now that the lessons have started to be learned and the memory therefore only of further good for creating disharmony.
And even if I was a nice man back then, and somebody worth remembering, I read years ago something by Bill Burroughs that went, 'Only those who can leave everything behind can ever hope to escape.'
Of course, putting my best photos into a book and burning the rest is nothing, especially because by rights it all shouldíve gone on the fire...but it's a platform, and I can work on myself now, and say, ok, lets take you back to zero, to the still point of being a human being. Forget all that you've become, and that you did, back then, and become what you are. Start again.
That means Iíve got to put down the pinhole cameras and hang up the walking boots, for a while, think about it all, and if I want to pick them up again, when Iím sure itís because I want to and not because some other person is telling me itís the way to go, then Iíll do so.
Deconstruct all the way, until complete, that is the game.
And there, without being cute or re-writing a hundred times, as near to stream of consciousness as I get, I just got my book title. If you keep banging on, or navel gazing as the smart set like to call it, perhaps it all comes to you in the end."
Deconstruct Until Complete
Featuring over 200 Pinhole Photographs taken since 2005. Images portray the UK, Europe, Malawi, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Morocco, Thailand and Cambodia. The book also features a selection of Solargraphs, and can be purchased from Hakim & Slater.