Participant portfolio

Kevin Holmes

We welcomed Kevin Holmes, a keen amateur photographer from Yorkshire, to our Develop your Narrative course in summer 2019, and he produced a body of work which had us thinking and reflecting about things beyond photography.

Kevin brought with him his Buddhist beliefs, and made work around many of the key themes, ideas – and even words – which underpin that faith. Easdale seemed to be the perfect location to make a piece of reflective work, and by using the richness and diversity of the local environment, Kevin was able to illustrate his ideas with subtlety and skill. As well as picking out small details, Kevin also brought the subject to life by looking towards the horizon and including some interesting and original landscapes within the piece he produced.

It is often difficult to communicate ambient ideas into visual meaning, but Kevin succeeded in his mission. We were able to talk him through methods we suggest to help participants thread together their stories. Carefully crafting an edit of the images so that each photograph complements the previous and next ones allows a story to flow and breathe is key to that process. Kevin’s strong themes made his photos illustrative without being didactic and allow the viewer to make their own interpretation of what the work was alluding to.

“Easdale is a complex little outpost in the Hebrides, lots of industrial history from the slate trade visible all around and very photogenic, sea, slate and deep watery quarries, and now a rural idyll with whitewashed cottages and a fiercely independent community. The course was three immersive days focused not around technique per se although I, as a novice, learnt a lot, but rather about how the image tells a story to the viewer whoever he or she may be….”

Kevin Holmes