John Heseltine Photographics

observations of the everyday and all that might be implied

Month: April, 2013

double negative

double negative

My photographs are increasingly representations of thoughts rather than simple reflections of the external world. This volume contains verbal rather than optical images but they remain nevertheless derived from the same way of seeing. Many of the poems follow a visual cue, usually an actual photograph or a memory that might well have been recorded as an image; sometimes I find the two indistinguishable. Others refer to a moment of recognition, seeing something ordinary or incongruous in a different light, a different version of what it is. Whether with a camera or a pen, this is often only revealed by the concentrated gaze and prolonged investigation.

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Another roadside attraction, Dorset 1977


Untitled 6a

The registration number is probably now giving proud exclusivity to a Lexus owner but in 1977 (long before the seat belt laws) it was just a hand painted tag on this family’s old pick-up as they transported unwanted domestic contents across Dorset. Mother got to sit in a comfy armchair with a commanding view of the slowly passing hedges while father and son kept a wary eye on the traffic accumulating behind them. Another one from the depths of the archive.

In a public lavatory, 1983 …

Untitled 4


I have been known to photograph strange things in my life and if anyone had walked into the gents public lavatory in Bude, Cornwall, in November 1983, they might well have thought something very odd was afoot. Does this image betray its time ?  I think it does and although it may not look too different now (I don’t know) I’m sure it still smells the same, it is probably adorned with a very different vocabulary of graffiti. Does it say anything of Thatcher’s Britain, our Britain and the land of skins, poor spelling, the National Front and others who so eruditely illuminated these walls ? Possibly not, but it does remind me of a period which was not the most uplifting.


Of pigsties and Polaroid



My son visited me in France last week and we exhumed the eighteenth century pigsties on the edge of my gardens. Julian did most of the hard work but I got out my old Polaroid camera and used a couple of sheets of precious instant film. It seemed the right way to document our day’s archaeology.