This week in Figueres and Arles I want to learn more about how artists successfully portray what is going on behind the surface. For me how can I project more of the emotions, thoughts and states of a self behind a surface image.

The Dali Museum in Figueres was a remarkable place to start. I watched a BBC documentary by Ian Bishop from 1997 last night to brief myself on Dali. Dominated by his father, losing his mother who he adored when he was 16 and sexually confused all combined to create a shy, extroverted genius. When he put his museum in Figueres he said his intention was that ‘It will be a totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.’ That is exactly how I left.

So many of his images connect with the images so many of us have in our dream or hallucinated states. He was prolific. I hadn’t realise his obsession with presenting masturbation as a positive force. He was also terrified of grasshoppers. Many of his early images arise out of family holidays in Cadaques. He also spent time when he was 21 with Lorca the Spanish poet and struggled with fears of homosexuality.

I want to pick out this image for the impression it had on me. At first you see what look like some flowers in a meadow. But as you look closer you see more and more and discover there is a whole town and a cast of characters. It is a remarkable achievement. Ian Bishop pointed out in his documentary that Dali sometimes painted with a brush with two hairs and used a jewellers magnifying glass to add in his detail.


This image also had strong impact on me as I projected so much pain behind this face. Achieved with brush strokes and colours and what he does show and does not.


To think about for my project is finding ways to link in to the inner fears all human beings naturally experience. Finding ways of getting these in to images will get the viewer to project their own response as we all do to Dali images. The other thought is how to get more in to an image as a viewer looks closer.

I will come back here again and will learn more about Dali.

Categories: Contextual Research, Surfaces and Strategies


I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.