About & Contact

I was born in London in 1948. Photography came to me slowly and a bit late in life. I had made a couple of false starts in other creative areas, and it wasn't until I was in my late twenties and studying at Wimbledon College of Arts that I learnt how to use a camera. I went on to study art history at Middlesex University which provided a background to the kind of photographic subject matter to which I was drawn.

The first photographs I made were of figurative sculpture on church monuments using available light, and these photographs led to some work for the Henry Moore Institute where I photographed sculpture for exhibition catalogues. Around the same time I began to photograph the historic built environment.

I never made a living from photography, I've always been an "amateur". For many years I worked for myself as a decorator and restorer of period plaster-work ceilings, fitting in self-funded photography trips between jobs.

In the 1990s I lived for a while in the East End of London, where I photographed some of the old buildings that had survived in the area. It was changing rapidly and I wanted to record some of it before it disappeared. Other collections of photographs include industrial remains from the past, church interiors, sculpture in galleries, historic houses and gardens, and anything that caught my eye on travels both at home and abroad.

Many photographers find it difficult to write about their work. As someone who can take an hour to compose a two-line email, I am no exception. It's hard. For the kind of "straight" photographs I make, it starts with the subject matter. That's what inspires me and my response is intuitive. I like authenticity and a sense of place, then I try to make some order out of what I see. What I see is what you get. It's an act of revealing, a process of disclosure, and also a celebration of the subject. Beyond that, some photographs work and some don't and I never really know why. The purpose of this small archive is to share the results.

email address: paulgardner180@btinternet.com