News

What now….?

The projects on the website clearly demonstrate the impact of the photographic work undertaken. My images have given a voice to those who are often invisible. These images highlight communities who remain on the fringes of society.

I wish to continue working in this vein and invite individuals or organisations that feel that my photography will contribute and enhance their altruistic, cultural and social endeavours to contact me.

Cambridge Camera Club Annual Exhibition, Young People’s category (2017)

Pupils involved with the Darkroom Photography Activity from The Leys School, Cambridge were successful in the Young People’s Category at the Cambridge Camera Club Annual Competition. They were awarded prizes and commendations. I was delighted with their successes, as their creativity and enthusiasm for film photography and darkroom processing and printing had been recognised.

Encountering new technical challenges

On completing the MA course I have encountered the challenges of learning the art and technology of digital photography. I continue to have more empathy with film photography but the practicalities of digital photography have determined that I explore this route. Whilst shooting, I always compose ‘in-camera’ which negates having to manipulate images whilst working on the computer. In doing so, I try to maintain the integrity of the photograph taken. However, adjustments (similar to those that would be undertaken in the colour darkroom) are sometimes made using Lightroom software.

Summer 2016

The summer of 2016 has been extremely busy and interesting. I have been happily involved in a variety of photographic activities. On several events I was designated to be the event’s official photographer.

One of which was being the official photographer for the Cambridge Naked Bike Ride, which took place on a very cold June afternoon. It was amusing to capture the reaction of the general public to this unusual event.

Another was to be an embedded photographer on the First Ever World Religion Boat, which took part in the Euro Pride Canal Parade on August 6th 2016 in Amsterdam. The theme was COEXIST in Freedom, the five major religions being represented, demonstrating that ‘it is possible for all faiths to coexist in peace and freedom’ (Barbara Rogoski).

Preceding the Euro Pride Canal Parade, an international scientific conference took place (August 4th and 5th) at the University of Amsterdam. The conference entitled Proud In Europe? LGBTI Emancipation in comparison examined the state of LGBTI emancipation within Europe. Taking photographs at the conference meant that I had access to many of the presentations.

Another Twilight People’s Event at which I photographed took place Warwick University on 5th May 2016. At the Trans and Faith Symposium 'trans and non-binary gender issues in a faith context' were discussed.

On September 16th 2016, at the London Metropolitan Archives the Twilight People Project launched its archive collection. The Twilight People Project comprises of a ‘detailed history of transgender and faith identities’ (Surat- Shaan Knan). Again I was given another opportunity to be the Event Photographer. Photographs taken, supported press and media articles.

YOUMANITY ... Social Integration and Human Rights

At the recommendation of the Irish Traveller Movement, Angelo Iodide founder and chairperson of YOUMANITY, contacted me. YOUMANITY is a charity that advocates and celebrates multi-culturalism, supports social integration and promotes human rights.

Angelo asked if he could present some of my images on the YOUMANITY website and Facebook. His objective was to expose those who suffer from hate crimes, those who are victims of being incorrectly stereotyped. Images of my earlier interactions within the Gypsy and Travellers communities were incorporated in the article Window into the Travellers’ community which was placed on YOUMANITY’s website;

http://www.youmanity.today/en/news/a-window-into-the-travellers-community.html

Couple withed this article, images taken during a workshop entitled Who We R! was placed on YOUMANITY’s Facebook;

https://www.facebook.com/Youmanity.Today/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1241073129239326

The London Salon Exhibition 2016.

I was particularly pleased that a portrait of Gypsy Grandma Ettie had been accepted for the London Salon Exhibition 2016. ‘The aim of the London Salon is to exhibit only that class of photographic work which is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution’. I was pleased that the judges felt that Gypsy Grandma Ettie fulfilled these criteria. The London Salon Exhibition 2016 remained in Birmingham during the early part of the summer before it travelled to Edinburgh.

Twilight People: The Exhibition – Stories of Faith and Gender Beyond The Binary

I photographed at the two launch events of Twilight People: The Exhibition . The exhibition portraits taken by Christa Holks exposed 'Stories of Faith and Gender Beyond The Binary'. Twilight People: The Exhibition was held at Islington Museum, throughout the LGBT History Month of 2016.

Cambridge School of Art

I found introducing and developing the skills required within the Colour Dark Room to the first year students to be very satisfying. My objective throughout this course was for the students to ultimately attain complete confidence and thus develop proficiency in the colour darkroom. I presented the students a copy of my workflow, which acted as a reference to their practical endeavours. I was delighted with the outcome of the students’ work and felt that my objective had been achieved

Wrestlingworth Village Link Magazine

This article was written in the Village Link Magazine (Issue 144)

Mary Proves It's Never Too Late For A New Career

Having enjoyed a fulfilling and successful career in the world of teaching and education, Mary Humphrey, grandmother of six, is showing no signs of slowing down. On retirement she returned to university to study photography. Her formal photography education started at the College of San Mateo in California, which resulted in being invited to join the fraternity of the Phi Theta Kappa Honour Society. On returning to England, the Wrestlingworth resident continued her photographic development as a student at the Cambridge School of Art. She was awarded a 1st Class Honours Degree, and then gained a distinction for a Printmaking M.A. Her objective as a photographer was to continue collaborating with those whose stories are often neglected.

During her short new career Mary has travelled extensively in order to photograph her projects. She has worked in Transylvania, Cambodia, Bangladesh, St Lucia, Istanbul and Moldova. In practice Mary’s photography blurs the boundaries between reportage and portraiture. With empathy Mary has captured the plight of often-disenfranchised groups, including Eastern European travellers, veiled Muslim women and members of the transgender community. As well as exciting international locations, Mary has had the privilege to photograph at interesting venues in this country, including the House of Commons, New Scotland Yard and several London synagogues. Mary acknowledges that with her camera, she has been able to interact and collaborate with a wide spectrum of fascinating people.

Mary has presented her work at various exhibitions, including solo exhibitions in Cambridge, London, Istanbul and Bratislava. Through such presentations, Mary’s intention is to stimulate discussion and debate, within the frame and outside the frame of her photographs.

Mary is also delighted to have the opportunity to foster young students' enthusiasm for photographic darkroom activities whilst teaching part time at The Leys School in Cambridge. Mary adds, "Everything I have learnt and am still learning is passed onto my enthusiastic pupils”.

10th anniversary of The IARS International Institute

I was invited to photographically document the 10th anniversary of The IARS International Institute at a prestigious evening reception that took place on the 4th November 2015 at the House of Commons in London. Eminent figures in the fields of international research, policy and practice arenas attended the celebrations. The Member of Parliament, Rushanara Ali hosted the event.

Festival of Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles]

I attended and photographed at a Jewish celebratory meal, which took place during the Festival of Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles]. The Sukkot dinner was held in a ‘sukkah’. A ‘sukkah’ being a temporary construction, topped with branches and decorated with autumnal fruit.

Ritual Bricolage Workshop

The Ritual Reconstructed team invited me to photograph at a cutting-edge workshop. During the Ritual Bricolage Workshop participants were photographed ethnographically.

The Ritual Bricolage Workshop explored how 'LGBTQI Jews in Britain could reclaim something that may have been denied to them in the very gendered and traditional world of Judaism' (S S K).

Participants examined how 'ritual could be reconstructed through ideas, objects, items that had a deep meaning for them' (S S K).

Because ...

During June and July I was given the wonderful opportunity to present a solo exhibition entitled Because .... The exhibition displayed at the Art Cell Gallery was located in the Cambridge Research Institute. Because... was very well received with the opportunity for many to view.

The bodies of work provided a powerful insight and clear vision of my work which focused on individuals with whom I had the privilege to photograph during BA and MA assignments.

Nicola Adkin wrote this review after viewing the exhibition.

“When I visited this exhibition in June I was expecting clever, dramatic, arresting portraits which demonstrated a high level of artistry, composition and photographic technique.

While I was not in the least disappointed in this regard, I was not prepared for the challenging nature of the portraits, particularly of the Roma people photographed from within their community in Rumania.

I say ‘within their community’ because that is what you get from these earnest but trusting, life-worn faces staring directly at the lens, their weather-beaten skin and dour expressions contrasting arrestingly with their bright colourful clothing and scarves.

The impression is that the photographs were taken from within the community enabling it’s members to look outwards to the outside world, after no doubt protracted negotiations over access, practical arrangements dictated by the weather, and, most importantly, trust, had been concluded.

By creating a channel for this ‘othered’ community to look to the outside world, I found myself being challenged over my views on the traveller community, which lives on my doorstep in Bedfordshire.

In a different part of the exhibition there was a series of portraits and a book of photographs of a number of transgender subjects. The pictures were a mix of the striking and the ordinary, in that they were ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. I found many of the back stories moving, and the photographs supporting them even more so. Transgendered people may feel as though they have lost a foothold in society, and yet I had not given any thought to the issues of such people before. I felt that the pictures allowed me some insight and a feeling of connection to these people, to their day-to-day life, as well as their extraordinary life”.

Abused No More : The IARS International Institute

I was delighted to be assigned recently to photograph and document the Abused No More Event. This event organised by the IARS International Institute and funded by Comic Relief, celebrated the achievements of refugee and asylum-seeking women living in U.K..

Darkroom Activity

I continue taking the darkroom activity at the Leys School. I find it fulfilling to witness students emerging as confident and competent photographers throughout the initial teaching process. As a consequence several have been recognised in the Cambridge Camera Club Annual Young Persons’ Competitions. The students are always excited when a film is developed and an image emerges during the print process.

The 2015 Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting and Conference on Gypsy Studies

I have been invited to photograph at the 2015 Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting and Conference on Gypsy Studies. The conference will take place during September in Chișinău, Moldova.

Solo Exhibition

I am planning to hold a major solo exhibition at the ArtCell Gallery in Cambridge during the summer months of May, June, July and August, 2015

1st Year Photography Students at the Cambridge School of Art.

Yet again, whilst teaching at the Cambridge School of Art (2016) I have been delighted with the response of the 1st year students whilst learning the demanding skills of the colour dark-room. Produced coloured images demonstrate confidence and ability.

International Criminal Justice Seminar and International Health and Social Care Seminar

I recently had the privilege of photographing at the two seminars entitled,

Crime and Punishment: Gypsies, Travellers and Roma in the Criminal Justice System.

and

Gypsy, Traveller and Roma, Health and Social Care.

The Council of Europe, European Academic Network of Romani Studies and the Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Society and Health at Buckinghamshire New University had funded the seminars.

Moving Images; Why and How?

On March 12th 2014 Margaret Greenfields, Professor of Social Policy and Community Engagement, led a symposium entitled Moving Stories: Migrant Communities in Transit. I was part of the symposium team, presenting my philosophy and personal narrations that underpin my portfolio of work. Coupled with a display of portfolios and published books the presentation was accompanied by a series of moving images. I enjoyed presenting Moving Images; Why and How, which took place at Buckingham University.

A unique Cambodian experience…Those who care

Prior to the trip to Cambodia several months were spent contacting various organisations in order to obtain permission to photograph Those who care…

At the end of relentless schedule I returned from Cambodian after an extremely exciting, inspiring, fulfilling and successful trip. I was fortunate to be given access to communities, which were situated away from the photographic tourist trail.

I could not have hoped for nor been given better opportunities.

Every day proved to be one of many, many diverse experiences. I constantly felt as though my mind would explode with emotions, colour, visual and auditory information. I was so grateful to so many for their generosity, hospitality and for giving me wonderful photographic opportunities. Throughout my trip within Cambodia I had the privilege to meet and photograph a whole spectrum of amazing people who dedicate their lives and work to others. I felt very humbled to witness and capture the work, which is enabling vulnerable people to live rather than just survive.

Dwellers of a Cambodian rubbish site

Driving through a small village and onto a rutted track we found ourselves approaching a thick cloak of smog and smoke. Silhouetted through the grey impenetrable haze a majestic tree dominated the landscape. Initially the polluted smoldering atmosphere masked the hill-range of filthy debris. The pungent smell of this expanding burning rubbish heap and the indistinguishable landscape contributed to the perceived threatening and inhospitable scene.

As I walked into the smog, outlines of crude shacks appeared from which men, women and children emerged. However, within this grim and disturbing environment my inviting approach was greeted with faces that lit up with smiles emanating from their eyes and hearts. I was grateful to these families who allowed me to snatch but a glimpse of their community and capture memorable and powerful images

The New Horizons Conference

At the successful conference New Horizons, which was hosted by The Irish Traveller Movement, an exhibition of several poster-sized photographs were placed on display. These images reflected several emotions the girls revealed during the course of the What about me - the good goodbye workshop. The images accompanied the Bereavement and Mental Health discussion at the conference.

After the storm… St. Lucia 2013

Christmas Day on St. Lucia was ruined for many by unprecedented torrential rainstorms. The heavy gales occurred throughout Christmas Eve. This monsoon type weather caused disruption and loss of lives all over the island. Severe flooding and numerous landslides occurred; roads became impassable; bridges were swept away, whilst homes, home contents and personal possessions were destroyed.

I had the opportunity to photograph islanders whilst in the process of rescuing their damaged homes and possessions in isolated villages, away from the photographic tourist trail. I extend my gratitude and heart felt sympathy to all.

What about me - the good goodbye

During the summer of 2013, I had the privilege of being involved in an interactive story-telling workshop related to bereavement. Seth Townsend’s stories and activities captured the active imaginations of the young participants. I was able to encapsulate the enjoyment, enthusiasm, sensitive thoughts and comments with discreet and candid photographs throughout the workshop. The photographs will provide images for a children‘s book. 'The proposed outcome of the workshop is to produce a book exploring and explaining children’s feelings, understanding and needs relating to bereavement and loss in their lives' [Carol Rogers].

What about me - the last goodbye has now successfully been published.

Aesthetica Art Prize 2013

My initial reaction to have been selected as a finalist for the prestigious 'Aesthetica Art Prize' was one of utter surprise and glee. I was excited to be part of the 'Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition'. I enjoyed meeting other artists, viewing and learning from their work. To be able to observe the presented screen images of the ‘long-listed artists’ added extra depth to the exhibition. I was thrilled to be invited to offer a presentation which was related to my work, at York St. Mary's Gallery. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to recant past experiences and demonstrate how personality traits have shaped my philosophy as a photographer.

Sparkle in the Park 2013

During the summer I spent another lively and exciting day meeting, talking to and photographing an array of colourful personalities who attended and enjoyed the festivities of 'Sparkle in the Park' in Manchester.

I wish to express my appreciation to all the wonderful personalities that I have had the privilege to photograph, also to the organisers of 'Sparkle in the Park' who enabled me to experience a flavour of these celebrations.

The organisers have requested that Misty's photograph may be used during future promotions for 'Sparkle in the Park'.

Aesthetica: The Art and Culture Magazine (October/November 2013)

Within The Art and Culture Magazine Aesthetica an image from the body of work They..... has been included.

Those who care...

I have had the privilege of meeting, interviewing and photographing amazing people. Once I am granted permission to tell their stories, I spend the initial visit interviewing them. After which I return to take portrait photographs as well as documentary styled digital images.

Having spent the past few months vacillating between which mediums I wish to produce and present my work I have come to a decision. I knew that I wanted to present a powerful and informative body of work, but how? After experimenting and viewing moving portraits on the screen I have realised solely using this medium does not offer any extra information for the viewer. In fact the still image enables the viewer to actively participate. With the still image the viewer makes the decision on the length of time that an image is examined. Also the viewer is able to freely return to view an image again and again in order to continue gaining information and formulating questions.

Mull It Over

At the invitation of the curator Jonathan Cherry, I have made a contribution to the on-line magazine Mull It Over. Mull It Over, as described on the web-site, is a series of web based interviews with innovative contemporary photographers from around the world.