Before you read Simon Buckley’s Q&A tonight a quick reminder that Simon is holding a ‘Dawn Walk’ as part of Sale Arts Trail on Sunday morning 12th July at 03.15 and an Artists Talk at 4pm. More details can be found on the ‘Workshops, demonstrations and talks page’.
In the meantime read Simon’s Q&A and his exciting project ‘Not Quite Light.
What is your practice? Materials? Processes?
I’m a photographer. I work very simply for this project, using one camera, one lens and a tripod. Oh and a little foldaway step, and my reading glasses.
I shoot RAW files on digital and, after having worked with film for over 20 years, I’m very excited and inspired by what can be done with the new technology. Film had its merits but it was also very limiting. I don’t subscribe to the purist view of film. If we were being purist we’d still be working like Daguerre. I do miss B/W printing though.
What 5 words best describe your work?
I find this question quite difficult to answer..I’m not sure I can speak on behalf of what others see in my work.
When I create an image, it’s not about what I’ve seen in that moment it’s how that moment appears to others that weren’t there.
I can answer with what I’m working to achieve. Thoughtful, ethereal, atmospheric, questioning, painterly.
Do you have any design heroes?
There are many designers that I really enjoy looking at, and hopefully some I’ve yet to discover. I particularly love the posters and graphics from the 1920s and 1930s. I am quite a sucker for Art Deco and love the colours and typefaces used in that era.
Where is your studio?
I live in Manchester, but don’t have a fixed studio. I can work wherever I am, as long as I have my camera and laptop. It’s one of the joys of my job, the freedom to be able to work in many places.
Describe in 10 words a typical day in your studio
I don’t have a typical day. The routine I’ve developed for Not Quite Light has also had to evolve as dawn has got earlier and earlier.
In winter I’d wake up, drink tea and go out for about an hour. Now, I don’t really go to bed and often have to sleep after I come back in, like a night shift worker.
I download the RAW files from the camera as soon as I come in, and write up the notes about what I’ve seen, what was the weather like, who I met and how I felt it went.
I’m not wishing the summer away, but it will be a blessing when daybreak starts around 6am again.
Are you working on anything unusual at the moment? Commissions? New work?
Not Quite Light started as a simple idea around Christmas, when getting up early wasn’t a problem. It now takes me into unusual areas of the city at times alien to most of us.
It seems to have really caught the imagination of the people reading the blog though, and so is starting to take up a lot of my time.
Outside of Not Quite Light I also run a travel website called Road Rail And Sea, and do a lot of travel based photography for that. I’m also aiming to do NQL in other parts of Manchester and in other cities.
Did you exhibit or visit last years SAT?
I exhibited pictures from a trip to Switzerland in last years SAT and was very proud to have been one of the exhibitors.
What will you be selling at SAT15? Anything new?
All the work I’ll be exhibiting and selling at SAT15 will be from Not Quite Light and it’s never before been exhibited. It’s been great to see the work as prints rather
than just on a screen. I’ve had a larger print made of one of the images too, which will be at the Waterside. The prints are all limited edition. I’ll also be selling my limited edition posters from the project.
What venue are you exhibiting at on the trail?
As well as taking part in the group show at the Waterside I’m exhibiting 7 images at Coasters Cafe. It’s a lovely venue. My only worry is overdosing on coffee.
Tell us something we don’t know
I’ve used the same toilets as the Queen and the Pope, Pele once stood on my left foot and apologised and I used to be able to play Irish reels on a descant recorder.