I was asked by DulwichOnview
to write an article about my exhibition. It was the first article I had written and I found it a bit difficult to get started at first but then luckily it began to flow, hope you like it.
I hadn’t been on holiday for 5 years, not because I didn’t have the time but due to developing a huge fear of flying. It was easier just to stay at home. Moaning about it at work one day my PA suggested I go away, when I mentioned my flying troubles he just casually replied “So what, go by train”.
One month later I was heading to Turkey, where I used to live, by train, well by 8 trains to be precise, a 3 month journey that took me through Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and finally into Turkey, a journey that reignited an earlier passion of mine; photography.
Since that trip in 2007 I have travelled with my camera, by train or car to Italy, Sicily, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Andalusia and more recently to Arctic Norway and Northern Morocco.
Photographs on display at The Palmerston
from Arctic Norway and Northern Morocco are a result of 5 taxis, 2 flights (I found the shortest flight I could take!), 2 car hires, 2 overnight trains, 5 ferries and 7 trains.
This was my second trip to the Arctic. With the hope of viewing the Northern Lights my first mission failed. Perseverance paid off (that and sitting in cars for 7 hours a night) and on my second trip I was greeted with six wonderful nights of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring displays. If you ever get the chance, it’s something I can highly recommend! But wrap up, unsurprisingly it gets very cold in the Arctic, especially at 3am!
Morocco had been on my ‘must see’ list for many years. I wasn’t sure how I’d fair as a solo female traveller, so this time around I decided just to dip my toe in and visit a couple of places, Fez and Chefchaouen. If I liked it enough, there would always be another time where I could venture further.
Chefchaouen is a beautiful town in the heart of the Rif Mountains in North Morocco. The medina is an exceptionally photogenic and rewarding place to explore with its’ intricate Andalucían influence, arches, arcades and porches, and narrow cobbled alleys that twist through rows of bright blue-washed houses.
I wandered around those alleyways thinking to myself how well I was coping, how easy it was, it wasn’t that busy at all, I was definitely fine in Morocco. Then I got dropped off outside the gates of the Medina in Fez and that’s when I knew I had been kidding myself.
Stepping into the Fez medina is like stepping back in time. It is an assault on the senses, a warren of more than 9,000 lanes, alleyways and dead-end streets alongside covered bazaars fit to bursting with aromatic food stands, craft workshops, mosques and an endless parade of people, men riding mules, donkeys heavily laden with goods and porters with carts to jump out of the way of.
To be honest it terrified me and I spent the first afternoon hiding away in my Riad. One week later, having traipsed the streets, met the locals, tasted the food and, thanks to my amazing guide, seen a lot of Fez that the tourists just don’t get to see, I was totally in love with this city.
The vast emptiness of Arctic Norway and the hustle and bustle of Morocco couldn’t be further apart from each other, yet I am totally drawn to them both and I know that they are going to be places that I shall keep returning to.
I was very excited when The Palmerston
said they would like to show some of my work. I love what I do, photography has made me more aware of my surroundings and has enabled me to view the world and the people in it in a different way, so it’s great when I get the chance to share that with others.
Prepping for an exhibition takes time; the hardest part is deciding which photos to show. I print and frame all my work myself, so after finalising a body of work, I then print the photographs, mount them in a black core cream matte board and frame them in a handmade black stained and waxed Obeche wood moulding. It all takes time but when I see them hanging up in the wonderful rooms at The Palmerston it makes all those ferry, train and taxi journeys worthwhile.The exhibition runs until Tuesday 27 March at The Palmerston, 91 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, SE22 8EP.