It's been ages since I last posted on my blog; my only excuse is that it's been an incredibly busy yet amazing few years. In recent weeks, (more so than usual), I have been reflecting on the ever evolving and life changing journey which has taken me to where I am today. I have to go all the way back to 2006 - how that was over 10 years ago is insane - I had just completed my Fine Art Degree at UWE Bristol and I took part in what was then called The Southville Bristol Arts Trail.
A weekend of arts and crafts exhibited in people’s homes, where members of the public arrive to tea and biscuits and friendly faces sounded too good not to be a part of. The Arts Trail actually extends to churches, community centres and pubs and I wanted to do something different so, I decided I would display abstract projections in the crypt of St Paul’s Church in Southville.
I had a great time…
I met many interesting people and talented artists including a photographer who kindly offered me exhibition space in - what used to be - the Spy Glass Boat which rests upon The Bristol Harbour along Welsh Back and with Uni friends we put on our own exhibition.
Around that time I was working in a family portrait studio based in Bristol which was a hugely demanding and stressful environment. Sales based, the targets were rigid at 15 photos in 15 minutes, creativity had zero chance to shine and my photography was restricted to the studio’s four walls. Although I knew the combination of knowledge of the industry and practical experience would be a valuable asset in my professional life, I realised I wasn't a studio photographer.
Feeling slightly disenchanted and in need of some motivation, I decided to mix it and swapped the hustle and bustle of working in the UK for 18 months travelling the world! I eventually settled in New Zealand and lived there for a year with my camera always closely by my side. The beauty, wildlife, incredible variety of landscapes and friendly people gave me more inspiration and life experience I could’ve ever imagined possible.
I reluctantly returned to the UK in 2009, a new chapter beckoned…
My plane landed in London and ended up staying in the big smoke for 6 years. In between working in a local pub I became freelance, photographing events, fashion, gigs, musicians and festivals, I eventually found my feet with lifestyle and weddings and my photography career began. By late 2015 I had gone full circle and returned to my beloved Bristol where I am now. I love it, the culture, music, art, creativity, and, of course, the pie!
Super cute Dolly What Not cactus pin cushions
Handmade linocuts by Striped Pebble
Beautifully blue water paintings by Anna Smith Art
Originally I am from Devon and I love how the different places I have lived have created diversity in my work. Long gone are the days of fine art abstract photography with my focus and passion firmly on photographing people and families on location in their favourite places, new born babies in their home, weddings, occasions and milestones in people’s lives.
This year I found again the now named Southbank Bristol Arts Trail, (or it found me), I knew it would right up my street, literally.
Having good intentions of showcasing a roundup blog of my favourite images at the start of the year, (and finding that time was never on my side), I thought I could do this in print for the Arts Trail. Also, I rarely get the chance to print my work, frame and hang it from the wall so I thought this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
So off I went on the titanic task of hunting through thousands of photos and foraging for an assortment of frames from friends and local charity shops, I eventually settled on about 60 prints which were firm favourites of mine. The work didn’t stop there as I moved on to cleaning the frames and sizing the prints to, finally, displaying them on the wall.
With help from my amazing friends we cleaned the house, blew up balloons, hung bunting, put up posters and chalked the nearby roads and enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the sun.
Special thanks to my friends Kate & Gemma and little Flo for all their efforts.
To see my some of my favourites (not in print) click here...http://www.lauracrouchley.com/sbaartstrail2017