The Self Portrait Experience – Completion

The Self Portrait Experience workshop over May to July with Cristina Nuñez is now complete. The final step was to produce an autobiographical project based on the material used in the workshop and within the constraints of the workshop. This proved more challenging than expected. Meeting the workshop constraints of Cristina Nuñez and trying to produce a piece of work compatible with the FMP just did not work. In the end I let Cristina collate what she thought was a good project for SPEX.

The experience has been invaluable. A really engaged international group of artists who brought so very different perspectives to the work. The methodology is interesting as it gives a way of analysing images looking at aesthetics, disturbing choices and the emotional processes. Analysis covers multiplicity of the image, temporality, visual harmony and the possibility of a higher self. A big takeaway for me was that the projection of the viewer told us often more about the viewer than it did about what was viewed. However, the comments made on what was viewed were often appreciated by the person being viewed.

It is a self portrait workshop so it is reasonable to expect that self portrait’s have to form a big part of the autobiographical project. The project produced does not meet the needs of the FMP so I will end that work here and continue on with my FMP.

I append the autobiographical project here.

The International Exhibition in November ‘Emotional Rebellion’ also is not as attractive as it sounded. It is people Cristina will put on her website as much for publicising her own workshops as anything else. Given the constraints Cristina will place on organising material this is too risky a route for my FMP.

This was a great learning experience and I have made some more really good friends in the photography world.

Categories: Final Major Project, Project Development FMP


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.