First Impressions ...

02 October 2019

Region: Headquarters

When I first joined the Royal Photographic Society, I was hugely in awe of the demi-gods known as Council.  I am still full of admiration for anyone who gives up their time voluntarily to take part in governing the Society (it is a myth that the President receives a salary, a fat expense account and a chauffeur driven car), and there is no question that being a Trustee carries great responsibility, but we are also ordinary mortals.  I want to share my next two years with you, so I’ve been given the keys to a blog-spot and am thrilled to welcome you to my first post.  

Saturday was a long day.  I woke up at 3.00 in the morning, knowing that was the day that I was going to take the presidential chain of the oldest photographic society in the world.  The sense of honour, and yet responsibility, was overwhelming to the point where I knew further sleep was impossible.  Being a Londoner, I always felt that I came from the only city in the UK that never sleeps, but London definitely snoozes in comparison to Bristol.  I ventured out at about 3.30 am, in search of coffee, and for the next few hours, sat watching the revellers enjoying their last kebab or burger of the night, struck by the speed with which the burger vans packed up and disappeared, followed by a super-efficient street cleaning service washing away the detritus of a good night out, in preparation for the market. 

Bristol is definitely a happening place, which completely validates our decision to buy the jewel in the Paintworks arts crown.  I am very proud to have been part of that decision and privileged to now preside over it.  It is a real game-changer for our charity, to have such prestigious, state-of-the-art premises; they are totally gert lush, as they would say locally.

For those of you, who haven’t yet visited, do try and find the time to head Bristolwards.  With an intriguing new exhibition opening soon (Jack Latham’s Sugar Paper Theories – details here) and an exciting programme of events and talks around the show, it is definitely worth the journey.  And while you’re here, why not pop over and visit our neighbours in the Martin Parr Foundation?  I would recommend making a weekend of it, whether kebabs, shopping centres or markets are your bag, you’ll find something for everyone in Bristol.

If you can’t make it to Bristol, do at least dip into the educational resources, carefully crafted by Photopedagogy and the education team, to find out more about the relationship between memory and truth… slightly disturbing.

And although we have a wonderful head office, we’re not ignoring the rest of the country.  In fact, later in the week, I’ll be blogging about my adventures in Blackpool.

PS.  Hope you like the presidential portrait – more on that in the next journal!


Read more of Del's blogs here.