Next in our series of interviews from the London Independent Photography Network is Colin Cafferty. Colin’s photography is concerned with environmental issues through his stunning images of urban landscapes and buildings.
When did you first come across London Independent Photography and what drew you to the organization?
I felt the need to connect with other photographers in London and so I googled the words ‘London’ and ‘Photography’ and up came LIP in the search results. I saw it as a good opportunity to promote my work through an established organization and to learn from others who are at a more advanced stage with their photography.
Reflecting on your journey as a photographer, how did your interest develop?
I worked in the banking world for 10 years and eventually came to the conclusion that there must be something more satisfying out there that appeals to my personal values. So I quit my job, bought myself a proper camera and caught a plane to the US Southwest to photograph some of the amazing landscape in the National Parks.
Who inspires you artistically?
I’m inspired by the urban landscapes and industrial architecture of Edward Burtynsky and Mitch Epstein, many of the photographers that exhibit as part of the annual Prix Pictet, poets such as Seamus Heaney, and artists such as Matisse.
What themes and concepts do you like to explore and how is your work distinctive? Do you have any favourite locations or techniques?
I’m passionate about raising awareness and inspiring action on climate change and sustainability through photography. My work documents urban and rural landscapes for the most part and seeks to explore the tension between progress and loss from a more sustainable and holistic perspective. My work is distinctive only insofar as the projects I undertake have a high degree of personal significance and hopefully have more depth as a result.
The US southwest is a landscape photographer’s paradise but you don’t need to travel quite so far. I recently discovered a strong connection to the wild landscape of County Mayo, which I always dismissed as I was growing up. In London, anywhere along the Thames inspires me. The industrial landscapes and gritty neighbourhoods that are fast disappearing are rich in visual potential. Technique is a means to an end for me – I don’t allow this to influence my work as much as some other photographers.
Do you have any future projects planned?
I want to restart a project that explores notions of community and identity by comparing two very different places that both happen to be called Dalston – an inner city neighbourhood in London where I live and a rural village in Cumbria. Another project that has a lot of personal significance takes a look at the conflict between developing energy resource and conserving landscape in my home county in the West of Ireland. I’m never short of ideas – if only I had the motivation to execute them!
Colin’s work can be seen as part of the 25th Annual Exhibition by London Independent Photography, until the 3rd of November.
For more information on this artist visit his website here.
All images © 2013 Colin Cafferty