David’s story: A life-long love of photography
Some of David’s transparencies of public house signs from around the UK
creativity:revealed is Create’s multi-artform project for residents and clients of Jewish Care’s Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus in North West London. Throughout November and December 2016 the participants worked together to shoot photographs, building technical, creative and social skills. The participants are from a number of resources at the campus including a residential home, independent living apartments and a community centre (Otto Schiff, Rela Goldhill at Otto Schiff, Selig Court and Michael Sobell Community Centre). The Jewish Care clients will explore forms of visual art from January to March 2017.
David (90) lives at home with his wife and attends Jewish Care’s Michael Sobell Community Centre twice a week. This is his story:
“I love to be creative and I was thrilled when I found out the project was going to be photography. I’ve been taking photographs probably since I was in my early 20s or maybe even before. I have loved photography all my life. I’ve got a collection of over 100 colour transparencies of public house signs throughout the country which I’ve taken over the years. They represent much of the history and culture of England, whether it’s sport, religion, history, farming, railways, aircraft, etc.
“I think photography is an exciting subject but like anything else you’ve got to know how to do it to do it properly. It’s been stressed today that it isn’t how good the camera is, it’s whether you see something worth capturing. When we were doing public house signs we’d be somewhere in the car and my wife would say “oh, there’s one over there,” or if she saw something which would be a nice photo she’d say “that’s a good picture”. So the workshops so far have reinforced my knowledge of composition.
“My wife has been living with dementia for around four years and much of my week is structured around what she’s going to do. I try to keep things as interesting as possible for her. I take her to a singing group and she loves to listen to classical music – it’s restful and peaceful. She goes to Jewish Care’s Sam Beckman Centre for people living with dementia on Mondays and Thursdays and that’s when I come here.
“Throughout the six weeks of the Create project we’re going to learn about different aspects of photography. We’ve been learning this morning about various important photographers from the past, including Cartier-Bresson, who was concerned with the ‘strategic moment’. We then took pictures of other members of the group to practice capturing movement.
“One member of the class is 97 and I’m 90. The artist leading the group, Alejandra, has been absolutely first class. She’s got empathy, pleasantness, and she’s understanding. She’s really keen on showing everyone how to do things. I’m absolutely thrilled that this is available.”