I first spoke to Matt Windle, the Boxer-Poet on (fellow poet) Emma Purshouse‘s recommendation when I was hoping he’d come to provide a poem for the launch of my “Pride of the Black Country” exhibition a few years ago. That never came to pass but our paths have crossed many times since, both in his capacity as poet (he’s currently Birmingham’s Poet Laureate) and as boxer (I’ve supplied many of his promotional images as well as documenting his professional fights).
I was very flattered when Matt chose to include me in “Poetry with Punch“, a brilliant initiative that involves providing creative workshops in schools including a combination of poetry, music, boxing/boxercise, dance, and photography. It mightn’t come as a surprise to you that I supplied the photography bit.
We’ve done a few of these so far and the kids who’ve taken part have clearly loved it. Matt’s team of poets, musicians, and choreographers do a wonderful job of engaging the kids and stimulating their interest in so many areas in such a short space of time. I was fortunate to have watched (and photographed) as the other specialists led their various sections of the course.
With two overseas trips planned for the first half of 2017 (the FOTO-CLUB Spain photographic holiday, and a wedding in Crete), I have lots of reasons to be looking forward at the moment.
It’s been a whole year since I left the old “Fotofilia” studio at BOM in the city centre and moved back to the Jewellery Quarter and what I had thought might be a stop-gap studio but has become a long-term base. And a year on, there have been quite a few changes, not only in the way I work but also the marketplace for courses and photography in general.
So after some soul-searching and some great ideas from the membership, I decided to continue the monthly club (formerly THE CLUB and f2) that I’ve been running for a decade or so but with a few changes to the format and membership system that we’ve been using so far. No more attendance fees, just an annual membership subscription, and a wider range of content at the monthly meetings to be partly dictated by the members themselves. Despite what initially looked like limited interest, we now only have 3 spaces left for membership (although I may review this in six months time).
Here’s to the next twelve months of FOTO-CLUB.