Over the last few days you may have noticed some rather lovely images popping up on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. These come courtesy of the delightful Ashley Good, who will be in residence at The North Wall over the next three months, documenting our outreach project, and the upcoming Fast Track. To introduce him officially, we decided to grill him on his photography, past and present:
Tell us your life story in 140 characters…go!
Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. Came to photography in my late 20’s previously studied acting and filmmaking. Studied photography at City of Glasgow College, exhibited internationally. Moved south in 2013, still miss Irn Bru.
Alright, so that’s 197 characters. Dammit Jim, I’m a photographer, not a writer.
How did you first get into photography? How has your approach to a subject changed over the years?
I’d been interested in photography since my teens, however as teens are wont to do I wasted a lot of time trying to be lots of other things.
So after a stint as an actor and three years at university studying filmmaking I found myself working in an office doing The Most Boring Job In The Whole Wide World™.
During this time I still kept up with my photography, progressing from a lovely little digital point and shoot, to my first digital SLR. I was in love with making images. Some people obsess over equipment, other people get off on process. I just love making images. I practised and practised and I took my DSLR everywhere, because ultimately that’s the best thing in the world if you’re trying to improve your photography skills.
Then in 2010 I took the decision to leave my boring office job. I went back to college, at the City of Glasgow College and I completed a 2-year HND.
Since leaving college in 2012 I’ve worked for local, national and international clients, I’ve exhibited internationally and I’ve curated two exhibitions.
In the beginning I was just so darn eager to take photos that I would just hold down the shutter button and fire off hundreds of photos. Over time I’ve refined and developed my eye so my take is more considered now.
Who (or what) are your creative influences?
I love the documentary work of Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, and William Eggleston. Eggleston in particular is my hero. I love his images, but I also love his laconic, acerbic personality.
Tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on:
My final project at college was a photographic study of fencers and dancers, titled Duel/Dual.
I had shot fencers previously and I had been blown away by their speed, athleticism and grace. I wanted to incorporate them into my final project but I didn’t really know what to do with them.
At the same time my friend Lucy, an expert in dance, said that she wanted to work with me on a dance-based photography project.
I can’t remember exactly how I came up with the idea for Duel/Dual but I know that I was in a Starbucks with my wife and I was moaning about how I couldn’t think of any good ideas. And then all of a sudden it was in my mind, fully formed. I think I’d had too much coffee.
I photographed the fencers in their white outfits against a black background, freezing their movements with high speed flash. I then took the fencing images to a group of independent dancers who semi-improvised, semi-choreographed a piece based on the fencing. I photographed them in their black training outfits against a white background.
And lo! Duel/Dual was born. A series of 20 high-impact, graphic, exciting images in crisp black and white. I’m still very proud of that work.
What do you hope to gain from your residency here at The North Wall?
I suppose there are a number of things I want to gain. I want to develop my theatre photography skills and pursue that as an on-going line of work.
I want to help The North Wall develop a substantial library of images, as well as new interior images and some lovely new staff portraits which I know for a fact they can’t wait to get done because they all love being in front of the camera so much.
And most of all I want to work with dedicated, enthusiastic, energetic and creative people from lots of different backgrounds.
Fragment / Iron Shoes @ The North Wall
Watch this space to see more of Ashley’s work, or visit his website.