Inside this issue
Cath Gothard is an amateur photographer based in South West London. She took up
photography as a hobby after a bout of ill health, thinking that it would channel her
creativity while recuperating from illness and taking time off her job as an animator. In
August 2018 she bought a DSLR, began exploring Richmond Park, and was instantly
The Park is popular with photographers, and taking something unique is quite hard, so she tries to look for compositions that haven’t been taken by anyone else before, which is a tricky but fun exercise. She nearly always comes home muddy, and always with a big smile on her face.
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.
Many of us follow a cycle from creative interests through ‘sensible’ subjects and studies (often advocated by well-meaning adults) that inevitably brings us back to our beginnings. For Cath, a postgraduate degree unexpectedly opened up a creative career, and more recently, photography has become a big passion and has led to a great deal of her time in wellies and water.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, what your early interests were, and what you went on to study and do?
I grew up in Lancashire, as an only child, in what was then a village between Preston and Chorley. From an early age, it was apparent that I had what would traditionally be seen as male interests. Train sets, Mechano, technics Lego. These, alongside soft toy animals, were my toys of choice. I was not interested in more traditional girls’ toys, such as dolls, and was probably considered to be a bit of a tomboy.
My dad was a keen fell runner, and as a family, we spent many happy weekends up in the Lake District, where my Dad would run in the various fell races. I always thought that the Lakeland countryside was magical. Growing up, I wondered if this was just nostalgia from happy childhood memories. Now I’m an adult, I feel lucky to have spent so much time in what I now think is one of the most beautiful national parks in the UK.
At school, I was good at art, but also very good at the sciences and maths. I was persuaded into taking science A-levels by my well-meaning teachers. I ended up doing a Computing Science degree at Stirling University. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so I went through the motions and completed the degree. In doing so, it crystallised what I had felt throughout my academic career: I wanted to do something creative with my life. I went on to do an MSc in Computer Graphics, where one of the modules introduced me to an animation package called Softimage. Finally, I found what I wanted to do, and I’ve worked in the 3D computer graphics industry as a character animator ever since.