100 Years Of Photography At Newport

Chris Chapman

March 6, 2012  by admin  •  Alumni

My time at Newport literally changed my life. I was beavering away on a Fine Art painting course when one summer’s day David Hurn walked into my studio asking to see my work. I thought at first that he had come to see my paintings but not so – a tutor had told him about my photography, which I was using as the inspiration for my canvases. He liked what I was doing and offered me a place on his new course, Documentary Photography, which he said was starting in September. I had a fortnight to decide.

I was only on the course for a year due to the limitations of the grant system, but that year was everything a student could wish for. There were excellent lectures from the likes of Keith Arnatt and John Charity, and an open door policy from David enabling one to discuss problems and progress. ‘Go back and take it again’ was a favourite phrase of his, but I’ve never forgotten the day when he looked at my photograph of the Llangibby Hunt and smiled. Our respect for each other developed into a lifelong friendship.

Since then photography has been my passion and has recently translated into making small films. The digital age took some getting used to, but David Hurn often used to say that it was the integrity of image that mattered. The vehicle for it was simply a lens and a recording device. My picture of the Dartmoor farmer and his sheep was taken on a digital camera, and it pleases me no end that people respond to the image without asking what it was taken on!

Chris Chapman, Throwleigh, Dartmoor 2012.