Today we feature the work space of photographer Michael Jackson.
Tell us about your work space please.
My workspace is a self-contained extension to our house, so it takes only a few seconds to walk to work every day. We live in a valley with no near neighbours so it is very secluded and quiet. The workspace itself is just two rooms with a sink and blacked out windows. It doubles as an office and darkroom. A lot of my work is based upon creative play so it is important to me to be able to shut out the outside world and have no inhibitions with working on crazy ideas until something clicks.
What “objects of inspiration” do you have in your space?
I have a print by Paul Kenny and one by Polly Chandler up on the wall along with my current batch of Luminograms, so I can catch sight of them out of the corner of my eye and make sure they are as solid and exciting as I would hope them to be. I also have a photo of my parents holding me at my christening. I imagine them looking at me with despair as I flap about the studio doing all sorts of strange things to get the work moving along. My father was a businessman through and through – my mother was more artistic and would understand I hope.
Do you have any favorite tools in your work space?
I have a wonderful fish tank which I have used for my Child’s Landscape photographs. It has strange glass in it which I am sure contributes to the look of the images. I have a wonderful screwdriver which has honestly saved many trips when I visit Poppit Sands – as my Hasselblad has jammed on a number of occasions and without that screwdriver to fix it I would have missed out on a number of wonderful experiences on the beach. My main camera itself is just a plain old Hasselblad 500cm with a 50mm lens but I have grown fond of it. I like the fact that every single shot taken at Poppit Sands has passed its way through this box.
If there was one thing you could change about your space what would it be?
I would get some ventilation in there. On long days of printing and working with luminograms I get headaches.
How do you keep track of all of your ideas?
I tend to remember them. I have an awful memory for many things – people’s names for example. I still cannot remember village names that are all around us, and I have to visit a place a number of times before I can safely remember how to get there – but with my ideas I don’t forget a thing. I hardly ever jot any notes down and I can come back to an idea months later and carry on from where I left off. I sometimes think that I just don’t have enough room in my head for all the details in life so I subconsciously store what I think is important in a high priority safe area in my mind.
Whats on your desk right now?
My desk is a mess, and that is how I like it. I have some film from Poppit that has been developed but not yet scanned. I have a biography of Andrew Wyeth that I find I can just dip into and it is so inspiring. I have a pile of random papers which I have no idea what they are. I also have a couple of rocks waiting to be photographed and a large clay seagull.
Does your space inspire you?
Absolutely. I can’t imagine that it would inspire anyone else, but it is my own space that I feel comfortable in. I get in a creative frame of mind as soon as I step in. I can do anything that I want in there. When I shoot my fishtank photos I take long exposure photos of the rocks in the fishtank and I discovered that what was initially a major problem with my reflection in the glass could become a wonderful way of creating shapes and clouds in the sky if I moved about as the photo was being taken. So, when shooting my Child’s Landscape shots I spend a lot of time doing strange fluid dance movements behind the camera to get the shapes reflected in the glass. That isn’t something you would want to do and have the neighbors watch.
Thank you Michael for sharing your space with us.
To learn more about the work of Micheal Jackson please visit his page at Micheal Jackson.