Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tim Andrews

Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Chris Friel recently at his home in Whitstable, I had come across his work via a friend of mine and have written about his work here before. I had a bit of a struggle getting to Chris's place, the indicated journey time of just over two hours turned into an odyssey of about six hours due to motorway closures and detours.

Tim Andrews 2. Reprinted by kind permission of the artist Chris Friel
I had a few topics and a number of questions to ask him regarding his photography and I will write these up in another place; but one of the areas I wanted to explore with Chris was that of portraits. On his Flickr site - here - there is a a paucity of portraits, though what there are of them, and I am including the all the pictures with people in - as opposed to posed portraits - are compelling, some disturbingly so. The landscapes that dominate his collection exemplify his technique that he has cultivated over the last few years, that he describes as using blur and movement to direct the the viewer to a specific area of the image. Whereas his profession as a sound recordist takes him all over the world, his photographic journeys take him not much further than the outlook of his front door, living as he does on the beach, most of his work is is within a couple of miles or so from home.

Tim Andrews on the other hand is on another journey. diagnosed at the age of 54 with Parkinson's decease he has decided to dedicate a good deal of his life to being an art project. Andews answered an advert from a photographer advertising for a model and posed for him, he has subsequently posed for nearly 200 photographers from Graeme Montgomery to Rankin, from Danielle Tunstall here to Chris Friel see Guardian article here.
Andrews describes his methodology as scouring the web for interesting photographers and asking them if they would like to get involved, his blog entitled "Over the Hill" is an account of his journey to date and his session with Chris here.
I hadn't heard of Tim Andrews' project before my journey to Whitstable, Chris Friel mentioned Andrews coming to see him quite casually, and there being a bit of an issue with the sea, so they came inside and Chris sat him where I was sitting. Whilst Friel's trademark tilt and shift lens (I suspect the 45mm one and not the 90mm version that he also uses) is plainly in evidence, it is the very subtle use of it that empowers this portrait. Rankin in his portrait attempts to mask Andrews condition by ensuring the shutter speed is such that there is no movement in the subject. Chris Friel ensures that there is. Of the three that are on the Flickr site  from a collection of about eight that were supplied post sitting to Andrews, I think this is the most powerful. Friel's technique is to complete as much as possible in camera, very little is done is post processing (monochrome conversion tended to done in camera also - I will check as to whether this has been in the same way). Contextualising Andrews journey by encompassing this portrait delivers a strong narrative to this picture.
And for another view of Tim Andrews I recommend this video - turn the volume up!


  1. The video is great! I did see a short montage of the images of Tim Andrews at our local Gallery a while ago - an interesting concept.

  2. It seems to me to be a fantastic idea. That video is fun I agree, and there are others he has done - you may have seen them - that are less light hearted. Thanks for the comment.

  3. The video is great. I saw a portrait of Tim made by Steve Bloom in the 2010 Taylor Wessing exhibition. I thought it was one of the more interesting pieces in the exhibition. I knew it was about Tim's Parkinson's but didn't know the back story - here is a link from Tim's blog. http://timandrewsoverthehill.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/luniere-by-steve-bloom.html Very interesting.

  4. Thanks Eileen, Steve Bloom's portrait is very interesting as you say; I am very drawn to these "painting with light portraits" and may have a go myself sometime. There is another more disturbing/darker video he did here http://timandrewsravenswoodfilms.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/i-cant-get-no-sleep.html