I’ve been a member of the Adderbury, Deddington & District PS since 2012 and of the RPS since 2018, gaining my Licentiateship in 2019.
My father gave me a Brownie camera for my 11th birthday; he was an excellent photographer – Motor Sport published his photos; he also advised the likes of Patrick Lichfield. Nikon D7100 and Fuji X-T3 are the cameras I now use.
I was born in Dublin, but grew up in Italy, Austria, Malaya and England, speaking fluent Italian and enough German and Malay to get around. My marriage to an American publisher and botanist, took us to America, St Kitts and Mexico. Living in these countries fed my imagination and woke my sense of the extraordinary.
When young, I studied graphics and photography at Colchester School of Art. At the end of my prelim year, my dissertation on Ben Nicholson won me joint first place for design. My love for seeing the abstract in the ordinary benefited from the assignments and projects we had at art school.
My enthusiasm for drawing, design and photography came into full use after I met my husband, when I contributed drawings, photographs and book design to his writings. Eventually I became his in-house editor and designer, and we formed a small publishing company (he was a founder member of Worth Publishing Inc.). If I had known I could have made a career from book design, I would have done that from the start. But instead I earned my living as a PA to some very interesting people like the historian Trevor Aston at Corpus Christi, where I learnt to proof manuscripts. I enjoyed copy and picture editing, and this led to occasionally using my photography when we moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I contributed photos to my husband’s book Wild & Wonderful: Nature Up Close in the Botanical Garden ‘El Charco del Ingenio’, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Although I was interested in taking photographs, and had some published in Mexico and St Kitts, it wasn’t until after my husband died that things took a turn when I ventured into a photographic exhibition given by the Adderbury, Deddington and District PS. A whole new world opened to me.
In the autumn of 2015, I attended my first ‘RPS Visual Art Rollright Day’, at Long Compton. It was here that I was introduced to a wider variety of photographic styles and techniques, and found that Visual Art encompassed so much that interested me. I was particularly inspired by Viveca Koh’s work.
I’m enjoying being a member of my lively and productive photo club, and able to pursue photographic projects with fellow enthusiasts. When some of us wanted our work to be seriously critiqued with a view to gaining distinctions, I formed the Constructive Criticism Circle which has proved successful, serious but fun.
My love of photography was instilled into me by my father, and I in turn seem to have passed it on to my son, who is a photographer. My passion for design is in my daughter’s genes, and she and her husband are in The List of the top 100 designers in the UK (Joanna Plant Interiors).