In what context did you work on this Fireworks series?
The editor of Numero
, Jonathan Wingfield, who is also a friend, wanted to do something celebratory for their hundredth issue. I am always interested in toying with photographic clichés - firework photography definitely belongs in that category!What does the title Gunpowder Plot make reference to?
In England, the 5th of November celebrates the thwarting of the
Gunpowder Plot, an assassination attempt against the king carried out by
a group of Catholics on November 5, 1605. It takes its name from the
fact that the plotters planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament with
powder kegs. What is your background? How did you come to photography?
As a teenager, I started taking pictures of the bands I went to see, like The Smiths and The Fall. After school, I worked as a photographic printer before going on to study philosophy at university. By the time I finished my studies, the British art scene was exploding and a lot of great new photography was being done in the fashion magazines. I started shooting for Sleaze Nation
in London and Self Service
in Paris and tried to bring politics, humour and an artistic perspective to magazine commissions (mainly fashion but also other genres). You’ve essentially been practising photography for magazines and advertising. What do you like about working in an editorial/commission context? Do you agree with Erwin Blumenfeld – the Godfather of fashion photography – when he talks of a photographer’s responsibility towards the huge audiences he reaches through magazines?
I'm interested in magazines to the extent that the readership is focused on being entertained and stimulated rather than choosing things to buy. It's not so much that I feel a responsibility to the readership but more the rather selfish motive of wanting to do interesting work myself!
Limited edition, numbered and signed.