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PHOTOGRAPHER FOCUS: Simon Tomkinson

20 February 2019

05 Photographer Simon Tomkinson The Bolshoi Swan Lake copy

© Simon Tomkinson. The Bolshoi

Member Simon Tomkinson talks to us about his upcoming first major solo exhibition Movement Studies i-iv, opening on 14th March at the Truman Brewery.

01 Photographer Simon Tomkinson Exhibition Movement Studies i iv

For Exhibition details please visit www.simontomkinson.com

 

Can you tell us about how your photographic career began?

The first memorable event with a camera was on leave from the Army travelling around the Middle East with my trusty Minolta SLR on my motorbike. The next was arriving at the London College of Communication to study photography for a year. What a brilliant college, what a brilliant year. I now lecture and run workshops on that same course so it’s gone full circle.

 

07 Photographer Simon Tomkinson Movement study iv Gymnastics Kitty Williams and Lewis Walker 

© Simon Tomkinson. Movement Study iv - Gymnastics - Kitty Williams and Lewis Walker, Richmond Gymnastics Association

 

02 Photographer Simon Tomkinson Movement Study i Diving Red Bull World Series Cliff Diver Michal Navratil 

© Simon Tomkinson.  Movement Study i - Diving - Red Bull World Series Cliff Diver Michal Navratil

 

What drew you towards photographing the human form?

I have always loved to watch dance, which is the field that has been so generous to me and my photography so far. Combined with this, I damaged my spine in the Forces which, over a very long recovery period, made me particularly conscious of both my own and others’ movement. The natural progression into the study of the human form lay in these roots but there may also be something in the genes too…my great, great grandfather was the sculptor Harry Bates ARA who studied under Rodin.

 

03 Photographer Simon Tomkinson Movement Study iv Gymnastics Kitty Williams and Lewis Walker

© Simon Tomkinson.  Movement Study iv - Gymnastics - Kitty Williams and Lewis Walker, Richmond Gymnastics Association

 

What are your thoughts behind black & White verses colour?

I adore the emotion that seems to be inherent in a great black & white photograph. It’s another world. The photographs of Paolo Roversi, Horst and Peter Lindbergh, these to me are what its all about.

  

04 Photographer Simon Tomkinson Movement Study ii Swimming Genevieve Randall

© Simon Tomkinson.  Movement Study ii - Swimming - Genevieve Randall.  Location: Bude Sea Pool

 

What’s been your favourite location for a shoot?

Backstage with dancers


What inspires you?

Sculpture, film, nature, light and the everyday.

 

05 Photographer Simon Tomkinson The Bolshoi Swan Lake 

© Simon Tomkinson. The Bolshoi

  

We're very excited for your forthcoming solo exhibition, can you tell us more about it?

Yes, ‘Movement Studies i-iv’ is going to be at the Truman Brewery from 14th-17th  March. My first major solo show! It’s an exploration of human movement with leading athletes and performers. All are welcome and I’ll be giving talks about the project at 6.30pm on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th March too (see simontomkinson.com for details).

The four-year creation of this project was a wonderful, if at times challenging, experience. I met and collaborated with some fascinating people - the Red Bull World Series Cliff Divers, British Champion Gymnasts, the UK’s top Synchronised Swimmer and multi-award winning dancer Jonathan Goddard. They all had to be rather brave (me less so) as I took them out of traditional settings and put them in what I felt to be complementary but, never-the-less, unfamiliar environments. The shoots were a great success and my thanks go to the Royal Academy of Dance for supporting the upcoming show.

  

06 Photographer Simon Tomkinson The Royal Ballet Song of the Earth 

© Simon Tomkinson.  The Royal Ballet. By kind permission of the Royal Opera House.


What's next for you?

I am now looking for a suitable agent to help bring my experience and expertise in movement capture to the commercial world. I am also keen to explore gallery representation as I found creating this first major project very rewarding, have a clear idea for next and, where possible, like to print all my own work. 

 

What does being a member of the AOP mean to you?

Support and community. We are very fortunate to have the AOP who are dedicated to protecting our rights.  Where else could you get such expert advice and tap so easily into such a wealth of experience. Under Seamus and the team it really is looking very healthy.

 

Email:   info@simontomkinson.com

Instagram:   @simon.tomkinson

Website:   www.simontomkinson.com

 

View Simon's profile in Find a Photographer 

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