Untitled #22

One Second a Day 2017

I first tried to make one of these videos back when they were all the rage in 2014. I’d had an apocalyptic 2013 and entered the new year feeling completely helpless and unable to escape my situation. I decided to run headlong into a bunch of projects that could keep me out of the house and, whether they succeeded or not, making a One Second A Day video felt like a good way to keep myself preoccupied just in case all else failed.
All else did fail and that video turned into the only project I was proud of, and so it was all the more heartbreaking when my hard drive died halfway through the year – twice. All the work I did for the first six months of 2014 was corrupted and lost forever.
It has taken me three years to get over that loss and in late 2016, having moved to London to study at Goldsmiths and feeling like I had found my place and my people and loving every second of life for the first time since 2013, I had a feeling that 2017 would be a good year to document.
Sod’s law meant it all went to shit come January.
This year has been exceptionally difficult but I thought I’d keep going with making this video regardless.
It would have been far too easy to wake up this morning, on January 1st, and remember nothing but the hardships from this past year. Thanks to this video, I know that I have a lot to be thankful for and in a lot of ways 2017 was a roaring success but just like 2014, I can’t help but feel like all the fun documented here was occasioned by a pathological need to stay out of my room and my own head.
One second a day is nowhere near enough time to capture everything and everybody who made this year easier but I hope this brings a smile to a lot of other people’s faces too.
2017 can fuck right off but it wasn’t all bad and I have a lot of people to thank for that. You know who you are. You might even be in this…

Untitled #19

When I first bought this little snappy camera that lives in my pocket, it was under the (obvious) influence of Jason Evans, following many a night sat around his kitchen table. Jason’s little camera, he said at the time, kept him engaged, kept his “eye” in focus and — most importantly — reminded him to see the joy in life. I used to get frustrated when people around me would criticise the obvious influence, in that it made “my work” derivative. In truth, it was never something I considered my “work” anyway. It came out of many frank discussions on various occasions over the years about our mental health. In late 2011, “positive affirmations” was the phrase of the moment — train your eye to look out for the joys of colour and form in the world around you as therapy; as a practice outside of your “Practice”. Struggling more than I cared to admit to myself, a focus on the joy of the everyday without overly aestheticising or fetishising it felt revolutionary in my life at that moment as someone who, for better or for worse, has an anally rigid eye for composition in most other instances.

The reason I’ve kept taking these pictures since has largely been as therapy and self-care. It’s a ritual of looking for the nice so I naturally feel the nice — an alternative to SSRIs. It doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes it becomes too normalised and habitual and loses its power. I’ve also grown to find the concept of positive affirmation a bit lacking over the last few years – because, in some circumstances, it is a sure-fire way to repression – but celebrating the therapeutic value of these blog posts is still important to me, especially right now, and since too many of these Untitled #?? posts slide by without commentary, now feels like a good time to reaffirm them.

These past few weeks I haven’t been doing so well with my mental health and so reminding myself of these things has been really worthwhile. Not just finding the joyful for the sake of it but finding humour in the melancholy too. More than anything, I need to say thank you to the people in these pictures who mean very much to me right now – and those who aren’t here also who hung out with me and let me crash at their places and put makeup on me and chatted shit late into the night with me, often without knowing what has been going on. I am not very good at answering the quotidian “How are you?” with anything but “I’m alright!” but those people who didn’t run a mile when it became more apparent that I wasn’t alright are appreciated more than they can know. I wish I had more pictures of your faces. Looking back over the pictures I do have is working wonders for me at the moment.

This isn’t really the place for this… But feel like I need to say it somewhere… When I’m feeling insecure, thinking that these images; this blog must represent the central part of my photographic practice, I have to remind myself that self-care is more important than freelance aspirations.





Saltend Chemicals Park is one of my favourite places to take pictures in the Hull area. A monstrous mesh of chrome pipes emerging from overgrown edgelands, it’s arguably the most attractive of Hull’s industrial sites. The last time I was there was on a video shoot with La Bête Blooms almost three years ago. The stills I took that day went unused but repeatedly float to the surface when I dive into my archive. With a proper photo shoot on the cards, I went down there again with lead bloomer Dan Mawer to poke around and do some test shots.