julian mckenny - about

Making photographs, growing vegetables, building straw houses

Actually, making a surprisingly large amount of photographs over the last ten years, and quite a range of projects/series, a lot of which look at the life we have established here. 'Here' is six acres in rural west Wales, a long way from the beaten track and certainly a long way from the urban lifestyle of the twenty years before that which were spent in Manchester. Just before I moved - to live in a caravan in a bare field - I had completed an MA in Photography at Leicester, one element in a life heading into transition and change. The only slight regret I feel about that move from urban to rural was the cut-off in contact with photographers and the networks I was starting to establish.

Now, ten years later, having more-or less completed the build of our straw bale house, I finally have a studio, space in which to re-evaluate and to sequence work, which I am now able to present on this website (and a big thank you to IM Creator who have given me a free licence and a great content management system to work with). Much of the work reflects where I live. This area has many off-grid dwellings and communities and photographers regularly 'drop in' to document them. I considered doing this myself, as I know a lot of those people. And then I realised that I was one of them, not an outsider, and that I should poetically document my own life and that of the market garden and house build - who should do it if not me? Those involved and long-term series now form About A Place.

Similarly, my explorations of the nearby coast of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion (Seagulls Made Me Do It) and the inland towns (Inland, Backs, No Parking) are part of this idea of working locally, with deep immersion, re-visiting, re-seeing, engaging over longer stretches of time.

Click here for my interview with Alicia Miller for Photo Monitor, examining the project [About] A Place.

Click here to see an excerpt from Means of Escape shown in The Lampeter Review, Issue 13, from page 81

Click here to see my image from Means of Escape included in the publication that accompanies minimalist composer Fabrizio Paterlini's new body of work Piano Microstories - The Eighth Note

Should it matter, I have an MA in Photography (Distinction) from DeMontfort University, Leicester, a PGCE in Art & Design, a BA in Fine Art (Paintng), Canterbury and recently found the envelope with the certificates in which I put in a drawer and have now forgotten which one. I am based near Cardigan and am part of the collaborative socially-engaged art practice RhysReeceRees. Work can be seen at www.vegetableagenda.co.uk