My aim over 2017 with West Wight People and Place was to try and capture a sense of place of the area, through photographing people in the rural community of West Wight – and through them their activities and connections to heritage, land, sea and community.
Whether I have achieved my ambition or not is open to question, but personally I have certainly learnt a lot about this part of the Isle of Wight such as the social issues around living in coastal towns and the management of landscape of the Wight AONB and Heritage Coast.
The people in the photographs are undertaking a whole range of activities to be found on this western tip of the island and include cattle farming at Alum Bay, next to the world famous Needles to willow weaving an arbor on the wildlife rich Yar estuary, just a few minutes walk from Yarmouth.
Each picture in the exhibition has some accompanying text about the person in the photograph to explain who they are and there connection to the West Wight area. Other people featured include a shepherd, artist, historian, community activist, cabinet maker and more.
The exhibition is being held at the Dimbola Museum and Galleries in Freshwater Bay from the 26th January until the 13th May.
Further details to be found Here
The West Wight People and Place project is taking shape. A few more portraits to take and then final preparation for the exhibition early next year.
Remember those old grainy black and white photographs of farm workers starring at the camera, their names, now long forgotten?
Well, the idea behind West Wight People and Place is to try and capture a more modern version of the community in the West Wight area. People who are, in some way, connected with the land, sea, community or heritage of this wind-swept corner of the Isle of Wight.
Its a moment in time.
Photography: Pete Johnstone
October has been spent meeting some interesting people – perhaps you may know some of them from my mosaic – and in visiting places around the island to get to know my new home. I am learning a lot of what the Island has got to offer and what it has not.
Finding the funds to do valuable work is a common theme when talking to people be it on church or parish projects, landscape improvements or those working on regeneration projects such as the Pluto Project in Sandown, mentioned in my last blog. It is good to know that crowdfunding is being talked about with enthusiasm and hopefully my crowdfunding video – tips for success will be of help to those who have yet to venture into this form of fundraising.
I was really chuffed that On the Wight chose one of my photos, Abstract Sands to be their photo of the week – particularly pleasing for me as most of my photography tends to be of people rather of landscapes.
The two best venues I have been to this month are the Piano Cafe in Freshwater which serves excellent coffee and the Neil Williams Gallery in Ventnor whose landscape photography is truly stunning. The Island is certainly a great place and I look forward to seeing more of it and meeting new people in the months to come.
As crowdfunding becomes more popular, the larger grant funding bodies and institutions are not only taking notice but are starting to allocate some money to projects albeit with conditions, not least being they will only fund crowdfunding projects in certain chosen areas in the UK.
However, if you happen to live in one of the chosen areas then it could be good news as the funding is targeted at largely environmental, heritage,community and art based projects – areas of funding that is now hard to come by.
So thumbs up to the grant bodies who have allocated money to crowdfunding – next step perhaps is to allocate funds nationwide!
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation with crowdfunding platform Spacehive has launched a new funding pot of £200,000 to support crowdfunding projects in Hull, Manchester and the London Borough of Lewisham.
More details: EFF/Spacehive
Crowdfunder have managed to secure agreements with the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund for arts projects in England and heritage based projects in Scotland and NW and SW England.
More details: Crowdfunder
And finally Santander through their Changemaker Fund is putting up to £200,000 to support social enterprises, community groups and small charities in the UK that help disadvantaged people in local communities.
More details: Changemaker
Good luck and as always let me know how you get on with your crowdfunding project and your application to match funds from any of the partnerships above.
Now at the start of April, Elements in the Landscape is just beginning to take shape with lots of phone calls resulting in some more people allowing me to take their photograph. My project is very much about the people in the landscape and their connection to it as it is about the landscape itself.
Jenny Furlong is the volunteer Curator of Chatteris Museum, a post she has held for 15 years and now shares with Ian Mason. The Museum moved to the present location in Chatteris in 1995.
One of the exhibits in the Museum is on Cornelius Vermuyden who in the 1650s commissioned by the Crown, directed major projects to drain the Fens and who constructed a system of ‘washes’, to allow periodic flooding of the area by water.
Welney Residents Users Group is a community action group that was formed in 2014 and established as a charity in March 2015. In April 2015 RUG took over the lease of Sandgate Corner – a large overgrown field in the north of the village. Welney RUG are in the process of turning the area into a community greenspace and wildlife area, with orchard, sensory garden and play area.
Peter Gardiner a resident of Welney for almost 17 years and a member of RUG has recently retired and has spent some of his spare time helping with the selection, planning and planting of the orchard and native trees.
The young fruit trees will require yearly pruning and with this in mind Peter and another resident recently attended a pruning course with the East of England Apples and Orchards Project to learn the necessary skills required to maintain the new fruit trees.
The fens have changed my life said Fred, an artist who has a passion for painting the fens landscape. I will be painting a scene when a farmer will come up to me and tell me some amazing stories, there is a certain quality about the fen people and landscape which is unique and not to be found anywhere else.
PJ.elements have been awarded a small grant by the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme to deliver Elements of the Landscape, a project to photograph people living and working in the Ouse Washes landscape and document their story through images. The people captured in the portraits will have a connection to the land or water, farming, biodiversity crafts or community life.
The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme is a 3-year project largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme focuses on the promotion of the area surrounding the Ouse Washes, the heart of the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Fens, and on encouraging community engagement with the area’s diverse heritage.
PJ.elements has been awarded a Community Heritage grant from the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership to photograph people living and working in the landscape of the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk fens.
Pete Johnstone the owner of PJ.elements said:
This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to being able to meet and photograph some of the people who live and work in the area and to try and tell their story. I am aiming to photograph farmers, people who are responsible for the water management of the Ouse Washes and those involved with local crafts in the area.
Mark Nokkert, project manager for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme said:
In awarding the grant we like the fact that Elements of the Landscape will leave a photographic record of people living and working in the Ouse Washes. We look increasingly to use images of the 1947 floods and earlier ones showing life and people living in past times, and so we think that this project will add an important landscape-specific contribution to an image library of fenland life today.
Pictured are Sara Marshall and Mark Nokkert of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership team.
Photo by Pete Johnstone.
The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme (OWLP) is a 3-year project largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme focuses on the promotion of the area surrounding the Ouse Washes, the heart of the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Fens, and on encouraging community engagement with the area’s diverse heritage.
I had a great opportunity to visit the High Line in New York recently to meet some staff and volunteers who gave an excellent tour of this city regeneration initiative.
Built in the late 1920s as a freight only line the ‘High Line’ in New York served many factories and warehouses and was raised above ground to reduce congestion, improve safety and increase efficiency.
By 1980 the last train ran along the tracks and for the next decade or so the High Line became derelict and a no go area. It was only with the threat of demolition in the 1990s that local people and city organisations came together to work out a future for the line.
And what a great example of urban regeneration it has been! I was particularly impressed with how well it is managed with a combination of the Friends of the High Line volunteers and staff and the city parks dept among others. Plus how the old architecture fits in with the modern new build of offices and homes. Now a tourist attraction in its own right the next section to be opened, with views of the Hudson River, will have minimal management where visitors will be able to walk along a path through self-sown vegetation to contrast that of the more managed southern section.
More High Line images can be viewed here.
Walking down the High Street the other day I saw every other shop had a sale or promotion on. I thought if retailers can do it then so can I!
So for the month of June I am offering 20% off both my half day and full day rate*. This offer applies to my existing clients and new prospective customers alike.
Examples of my work include scoping funds for protects and charities, project development, grant applications, crowdfunding strategies and fundraising campaigns along with environmental and community photography.
To discuss a project or an idea you might have in mind and to get a quote please contact me.
Tel: 07842 572632
NB. Prospective new customers please note that I normally ask for a written brief or outline of what you require before I can quote for the work.
* Discount does not apply to travel costs, subsistence or other similar expenses. 20% discount only applies to work commissioned in June 2015.
Payment terms are 14 days on receipt of invoice.
Launched in August 2014, Accelerator is the new crowdfunding platform for creative people.
Developed by Ideas Tap, and arts charity and funder, Accelerator is offering artists a way to raise project funding themselves, without the normal commission fees normally charged by other crowdfunding platforms. Let’s hope that this new crowdfunding platform can get enough publicity and backing to become a valuable supporter of the arts.
Sponsored by the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust, Accelerator will accept campaigns relating to the arts including photography, film, visual arts, journalism and writing and publishing.
Details: Ideas Tap