on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Workshop Experience

Finding your personal truth

Mike Chisholm

Mike was born in 1954 in Stevenage, a New Town 30 miles north of London. For thirty years he worked in the higher education sector as a librarian (Bristol and Southampton universities) but now concentrates on photographic and writing projects. In recent years he has exhibited his photographs and book works internationally in several solo and group shows. England and Nowhere book.


In late 1990, at age 36, we were just months away from the birth of our first child. A few years earlier I'd come to realise that photography was going to play an important part in my life; not as a profession, and yet rather more than a hobby. Perhaps what some call a parergon, the best definition of which I've seen is "side-work which stops your main work driving you insane". I'd been going through that stage where your enthusiasms swing wildly from, say, Ansel Adams one week to Raymond Moore the next. This was fun but confusing, and, before the internet, it was also pretty random. Then in the mid-80s I saw two exhibitions at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton that changed everything. One was a Josef Koudelka retrospective, and the other Thomas Joshua Cooper's touring show, "Between Dark and Dark".

Duckspool, November 1995

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