When time permits I work on fine art pieces. These are often created just for fun, sometimes in order to enter competitions and sometimes because when I shoot various subject they almost speak to me and suggest various things. I like to experiment and have, over time, developed my own fine art style, which is quite painterly and the images are frequently collaged from several original captures. I have of course found myself influenced by other artists and in general the history of art and this tends to show itself in some of the works.
These pieces have come from a wide variety of sources & subjects and some of the original captures were shot overseas and some here in New Zealand.
The art pieces featured on this page are available for purchase as signed, limited edition fine art prints. The prints are high resolution inkjet on fine art paper and are museum quality. Prices and sizes are available on application.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing a print.
Every year in the town of Bunol, Spain, an irreverent festival occurs. Actually the Spanish love their festivals and they have some truly amazing ones. This particular event takes place expressly to throw tomatoes.
I had always envisaged the polite throwing of red ‘snowballs’ but La Tomatina is nothing like that. It is brutal and I was wholly unprepared. I found shelter in a room in the town council building and was able to view proceedings from above. Groups of alcohol fuelled young men rip T-shirts off anyone they can find and the smart ones wear swimming costumes underneath, which are never touched.
A truck appears in the main, narrow street loaded with sloppy unusable tomatoes and locals who are tethered to the truck with climbing equipment hurl the tomatoes at the crowd, who in turn recycle them and throw the tomatoes at each other. It’s chaos and quite mediaeval in its nature. I felt bound to capture the intensity of the combat and the pure desperation of the participants.
OTHER SPANISH FESTIVALS
The Basque people also enjoy a good festival. I attended two in nearby towns that were quite different. Lantz is a festival with a story. The first four artworks are from here. The narrative follows the capture and burning of the thief Miel Otxin who is believed to be an evil spirit. There are several defined characters, all of who have specific tasks as part of the narrative and all parts are played by local villagers.
The second four artworks began like in the town of Lesaka. During the carnival, the town streets become, all in good fun, a “nightmarish” place for young boys and girls who are chased by the “zaku zaharrak”. These fierce-looking characters wear a body sack and on each leg a sack stuffed with dry grass, leaving only their arms uncovered. They hide their faces with a white cloth and cover their heads with straw hats. To complete their outfits they use the “pixontzia”, an inflated pig bladder tied to a stick, which they use to attack the little ones.
The final two artworks were inspired by the wine throwing testival in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. You can take nothing for granted when attending these types of events. I had expected water pistols filled with wine and bottles of wine being emptied on heads. that certainly happens, but i did not ecpect to see the local oder men turning up with trailers which had very large tanks of bad wine to use as their ammunition. Battle takes place in a forest and after an hour of battle, the whole area is a mudslide and all participants are covered in red wine. I had the foresight to wear a fluro sleeveless top which turned out to be identical to the ones the police wore, so I was untouched as I shot the spectacle.
PERANO WHALING STATION
Whilst whaling is now fundamentally a thing of the past, there still remain some remnants of the activity at the Perano Family whaling station in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. I went there on a history visit which occurs just once a year. The station is located very near the entrance to Cook Strait. It’s now a collection of decaying and rusting equipment and over time this will completely decay and there will be nothing left there at all.
It occurred to me while I was there that it would be interesting if the ghosts of the whales were still there somewhere and this gave rise to the first of the image I present here. ‘Ghosts of Perano’ went on to win dual awards at the Peters Doig Art Awards in Marlborough.
The second image was collaged from several of the pieces of equipment in order to create a big ‘fantasy’ but obviously decaying machine. It was titled as a reference to the whaling operation in general as it was once big business in the area when the Perano family were not the the only whalers in the area.