I started photography some years ago, attending an evening class in GCSE then A Level Photography, moving on to teach Photography for Adult Education. I enjoyed photographing natural objects, close ups in particular, and became a National Trust photographer, lecturing on flower and garden photography at Standen, a National Trust Arts and Crafts property in East Grinstead.
More recently I began concentrating on my interest in dance and movement, trying to capture the spirit of the dance – that elusive moment in time that conveys the emotion within the movement. In particular I liked to use Polaroid film to make image transfers and emulsion lifts on watercolour paper or silk, creating individual works of art which enhance the mood or movement of the dance. I also used Polaroid transfers and lifts to print my photographs of fine art nudes and flowers, and enjoyed the flexibility of the medium. Unfortunately Polaroid has stopped making the films I need, although I still have a few out-of-date boxes left. I really miss this, my preferred medium, and have explored the use of other alternative processes such as cyanotypes through workshops with Terry King FRPS.
I gained my Associateship with the Royal Photographic Society in 2004 with Polaroid emulsion lifts of dancers. I held a solo exhibition of dance photography at Trinity Arts Theatre in Tunbridge Wells in 2004 and my work has been accepted for exhibition in several National Photographic Exhibitions. I have had entries accepted over the years for the London Salon Exhibition which aims to exhibit ‘photographic work in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution’.
My work has been published in photography magazines including Photo Technique, Practical Photographer, and Amateur Photographer. In September 2004 Amateur Photographer published a five page article on my use of Polaroid materials. My work was also shown in the February 2007 Photography Monthly magazine as a guide to using an alternative process.
In June 2006 I took part in South East Open Studios, and in July and August exhibited in Henley Exhibition Centre with two colleagues. As a member of Il Laboratorio, a group of alternative process photographers including Terry King FRPS, I took part in an exhibition of work at Fairfield Halls in Croydon in October 2006. In January and February 2007 I held a solo exhibition at Ripley Arts Centre which is home to Bromley Arts Council.
I have always loved horses and photograph them with the same approach to dance, trying to capture an emotion behind the movement. I have been to Santa Fe, Andalucía, the south of France including the Camargue, Portugal, and several times to Iceland to photograph horses.
I enjoy making books of my photographs through www.blurb.com and hope to produce a personal library of different types of images, including my polaroids, and to make some of the books available publicly through Blurb. More recently I have been trying different aspects of art, particularly methods of printing, and include some of those images under the general section here.
Lesley Ormrod ARPS