I learnt recently that if you have run your own restaurant you’ve earned the right to be called “chef” by your peers – it’s a matter of respect; even if it is a bit confusing in a kitchen full of “chefs”!
Why was I surrounded by culinary creators? It was a commission for Compass Group who were completely revamping their corporate website, and they needed new portraits of their executive chefs.
For a few days my nostrils were filled with the aroma of spicy, tangy and sweet food, and my stomach rumbled and growled, as we travelled to various kitchens in and around London, setting up lights and trying to stay out the way of the very busy kitchen staff. I’m guessing the lack of Gordon Ramsey-esque profanities hurled in our direction meant that we managed it, or maybe they were just too busy to care!
Oh, and I also learnt that doing the cooking at home doesn’t earn you the right to be called chef….
Okay, I’ve been away; I’m sorry. I’ve spent most of the time out and about exploring the streets. It’s been fun, although my feet haven’t always agreed. I’ve met some great people and photographed most of them. I’ve also been surreptitious; I’ve been doing some street photography and below are some of the results.
Another artist with a studio within the Chertsey Artists commune is Mary Hayward-Smith who is a ceramics artist and also paints in oils. She is Head Of Art at a school in Twickenham, and you can see some of her work here.
I photographed Claudia in her Chertsey Artists studio on a fabulously sunny afternoon with lots of lovely day light streaming through the windows. Claudia is a mixed media artist and you can see some of her work here.
Chertsey Artists are a very talented bunch of artists who run a variety of workshops and art sessions from their studios in Chertsey. However their premises are under threat of redevelopment and they contacted me to help underline what they do for the community and the arts, to see if the development could be avoided or a new home could be found. As well as creating portraits of some of the artist in their studios, I attended some of their portrait sessions to capture the artists at work, which you can see below.
However this did mean I had put myself in the firing line and was cajoled in to sitting for one of the portrait sessions. Sitting still was my main concern but somehow I managed it. You can see the resulting portraits at the end of this post.
Alan and Jeanette have owned Carpetrama in Chertsey since 1991. Being in a shop in Windsor Street with large windows they have had a big screen viewing of some of the filming activities that have taken place in Chertsey over the years.