Andy Sewell

I met and spoke with Andrew Sewell at the Arles Festival 2019. The above two images were part of the Home Sweet Home exhibition. He described his work as looking for things you don’t normally see in ordinary situations. By looking more he sees deeper relationships and eventually creates an image..

I met him before seeing his images. When I first encountered them I had two reactions. The first was why is this a new young talent? He ‘has been described by Martin Parr as a bright new talent likely to make his mark on the future of photography.’ source The second was this does represent an English home very well. I recognise so much. A kitchen owned by someone with their view to the outside world through their window. The personality and character of the owner somehow present in the articles in the image. There is a statement about England here.

My second reaction stayed with me and got me asking questions about these images. Before the MA I might have said I don’t get it. Now as I look at the image I do build on my second reaction. There is a nascent project in my mind called ‘Gone in 50 years – La Xara’ which is a Spanish village near where I live. The images that attract me are the local supermarket which still has check out tills and a fish counter with an experienced and knowledgable fishmonger. Similarly the local baker and the local hardware stall. Andrew’s work inspires me to explore this theme and look deeper to capture what will not be there very soon.

Christopher Howse in the Telegraph reports ‘For months, Andy Sewell takes his time looking before he lets his camera collect an image. A kitchen window through the seasons, is a frame, like the orbit of the eye. Inside, the light gives a glow to the washing–up liquid and the Pimm’s bottle; outside the trailing roses wave in the breeze and birds hop about selfcontainedly. The sky brings fresh supplies of variable cloud, from the west mostly.’ source

His photography has now captured my attention. I am sure that to most of my normal friends these images are like offering michelin star food to people who love fish and chips at the local frier. I was normal before starting the MA.

Here is the question that interests me also. How important is it that Andy Sewell took this image? Is it important for the context and rhetoric of this image because it is wrapped up in Andy Sewell because of how he is now regarded? I showed the image to someone in the industry who had not seen it. Just asked what do you think? Instagram image she said after a cursory glance. When I said it is Andy Sewell she then paid attention and wanted to know more about who he was.

To finish this piece I include two of my own window images taken last week in Chateau la Coste. As a photographer I believe they are worth presenting. To me they say a lot. If I take Andy Sewell’s advice it is for the viewer to form their own opinion of what is presented to them. I do not think it is that simple. For these works to have any value in the photography world I will need to develop a narrative that goes with my work. Only then can images like this have currency and be considered significant. On that there is more work to do but a fascinating path to explore.

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.