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Micky Allan

“…What strikes me as I look back at my 70s and 80s photographic work is how similar my concerns still are: range, a mixture of formality and informality, a belief in the spiritedness of the ordinary and of nature, an undercurrent eye out for social concern and a quiet but decided challenge to convention.

At the time I was photographing I wrote the following:

To me there are no rules for what makes a photograph work. Sometimes I am up at dawn with 32 ASA film, tripod, cable release, etc. and make that sort of photograph. Sometimes I am in a car and with fast film, everything moving, windscreen dirty and light “flat”, I make that sort of photograph.

It seems to me that in the instant I am photographing I move outwards, and whoever or whatever I am photographing moves forward towards me. Through that motion, a new physical and psychic construct is made which is neither me nor the reality photographed and should not be taken as such…

I do not feel that my camera is an instrument through which I ‘shoot’.

It is now recognised that artifice in photography is as extensive and natural as in any other art medium, despite the convention of it carrying the weight of fact. I take this as understood. Still, there is in photography an element I like which states ‘this actually happened’ or ‘this place exists’. Its tonal detail cannot be reproduced in paint, no matter how meticulous. I use paint rather than colour photography because the latter, except for the use of instamatics, has to my mind developed a tradition of peculiarly static images, and although this tradition is changing, I associate colour photography with something flat and hard. In contrast I like the spiritedness and fluidity of paint, and the independence of the colours."

(Micky Allan 2006)