ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVE:
Interviewed by Richard West
Location: Artist's home, Newtownards, County Down
Date: March 2006
(Chapter 5 of 15, Running Time: 00:11:54)
Chapter 5 Synopsis:
- Always felt ill at ease in his job.
- Big redundancy in 1971 provided a way out.
- Bought a camera to take photographs of family, but before long his interest began to deepen.
- The arrival of Creative Camera was a revelation.
- Became disenchanted with camera club mentality.
- Discovers Socialism - began to believe you could change the world by the things you did with your camera.
- Read leftwing literature - Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.
- Heavily influenced by Louis Hynes' statement of objectives.
- Became wary of 'pure documentary' and its potential for exploiting people.
- Bought a copy of The World of Henri Cartier Bresson.
- Also influenced by Andre Cortez and Robert Frank.
- Tried to use photography as a way of understanding Northern Ireland's sectarian problems.
- Views this process as ongoing and still incomplete.