Inside this issue
Karl is a photographer based in the rolling countryside of Monmouthshire, South Wales. He tries to find graphical simplicity in the landscape, and is partial to exploring his back garden with a macro lens in search of hidden gems amongst the shrubbery.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
It’s quite possible that we could interview several Karl Mortimer’s – the woodland wanderer, the quarry ghost, or the new minimalist. And that’s without mentioning his alter ego (if you follow him on social media, you’ll know what I’m referring to). Working my way through his website it appears that a more graphic emphasis is coming into his work – his use of the square format, the negative space in his compositions, and his macro minimals. So will the real Karl Mortimer please stand up?
Would you like to tell readers a little about yourself – your education, early interests and career to date?
Monday to Friday most weeks I’m a freelance business consultant, sat in an office with minimal natural light, coaching and mentoring senior managers, helping them develop a strategy or running those hellish workshops with stomach curling icebreakers and team building exercises. I arrived here via a circuitous route starting initially as a geologist, re-educated in IT, with a few brief years as a ‘techie’, before following the standard routes into management and then ricocheting into organisational and transformational change management. It’s no wonder I like to get out with the camera, is it?
So in an attempt to balance the rat race with my own sanity I occasionally manage to spend some time with the camera in hand and exercise those creative impulses and muscles.
How did you first become interested in photography and what kind of images did you initially set out to make?
I first got my hands on a camera as part of my geology studies, using it to document my field studies of outcrops and other geological features. It was an old 35mm Praktica that I foolishly offloaded in a car boot sale some years later, but that simple little camera was how I learned the basics back in the day, a needle to indicate exposure and a split prism for focusing. That largely simple approach to my photography persists to this day strangely when I think about it. I probably use less than 2% of any of my camera’s functions on a regular basis when making my work.