I've been a fan of John's work ever since first encountering it over 20 years ago. John and his wife Sally, also an artist, live in a small, thatched cottage in deepest, darkest Dorset. A truly beautiful part of the world where the flower laden country lanes tower over your head, almost swallowing you up. Their house is like a strange museum crammed floor to ceiling with stuffed birds, pebbles, books, photos, prints, paintings, jars full of breadcrumbs! Any first time visitor to this eccentric and beguiling house come museum, is immediately struck by the fact that these are definitely people who never throw anything away!
Scattered throughout on walls, mantelpieces, tables and bookshelves are John's pictures. Strange, shadowy, atmospheric photographs full of surreal twists and literate references and often emanating, to my country boy's eyes at least, some kind of sense of rural darkness and unease. There is also, underpinning all, a wry and ever present sense of humour.
John's health hasn't been too kind to him over recent years but he's still down there, beavering away, capturing and storing images and then working into them in his darkroom.
A photographer's life, like the life of a poet, always struck me as a very isolated one at times. Quietly distilling and casting images, a good country mile from the glare of the spotlight and the sound of applause.
A few years ago I approached him about making a book of his work, and "Tumulus" is the result of that collaboration.
I hope you enjoy.....
-- David Gray
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: invisible inc. (November 1, 2005)