Jonathan Chritchley - Five Questions
We had 5 questions for Jonathan Chritchley before his solo show with us in October 2018....
1. Your work is incredibly distinctive, what do you feel has been the key ingredient in achieving that?
Thank you. Early on in my career I know that I was looking for something - a certain look to my work - but couldn't really define what that was. Black & white was always the only real path for me, the sea too, and I had always been drawn to the square format having worked with Hasselblad film cameras. As soon as I started making photographs with space and with a slight abstract quality it just felt right. Parts of a story rather than the whole thing. Nowadays of course the process is far easier. In terms of a style know what I like and stick to it - it is rather the subject matter that changes.
2. Do you remember the first photograph you ever sold?
I do. My first 'real' sale (i.e. not a member of my family who was just being supportive!) was a print of wave taken on a beach next to my home in France. It was, of course, black and white and square, and was used to illustrate an article in an Australian magazine. I had just turned pro, and this sale was a real turning point as I realised that other people might have actually liked what I was doing!
3. Why have you called this exhibition “Any Way The Wind Blows”?
It is often been said that I actually take pictures of the wind. The movement of a sail or a breeze catching the mane of a horse. So there's the first reason. The second is that line in Bohemian Rhapsody. I have always insisted on staying true to my style, resisting fads and fashions and making my own path. Really because my style of work reflects who I am. So that line 'Any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me' from the Queen song really rings true.
4. Do you have a favourite photograph in the exhibition and why?
Ouch. Well of course I love each and every one, or they wouldn't be out there in the big world, but I suppose if I thought long and hard I could name two: 'Sails of Avel', taken in 2008, was the first very successful print of mine, and confirmed my belief that my gamble of spending a lot of time chasing classic yachts was not only extremely good fun, it was also eventually rather profitable. I had such an amazing time making that photograph and was so delighted when it started to do well for me. The second is 'Sleeping, Camargue', just because it was the first horse photograph I made that I really felt was 'me', and that again it was so much fun to make. The horse and I had a connection. I spent an hour with her, then she felt relaxed and dozed off. And I took one frame and left her to it. And I have loved that photograph ever since!
5. What would be your top tip for someone who wants to a successful fine art photographer?
Shoot what you love, love what you shoot, shoot just for you and not for your family, camera club judges, Instagram or anybody else. Just you. Oh, and don't forget to take the lens cap off - always worked for me... __