Simon says about this SPECIAL EDITION... 'This Black and White edition was inspired by a passion I’ve had since my earliest days as a photographer. I can remember standing in the bathroom fiddling with film spirals and pouring foul smelling chemicals into my little light tight container… it was always exciting, having watched the moments tick away when I could pour the last of the fixer away, unscrew the top and unfurled the damp plastic strip to see what I had caught. Just recently I was giving a lecture which then became a series of Black and White workshops, and while I talked and I demonstrated… l felt all those old excitements from so long ago pulling at my imagination. So I called my publishers and after what was obviously, albeit eventually a successful and convincing argument they agreed to this special, smaller format edition. But even before that first phone call I had began the task of taking the colour from each of my images… and transforming them into an infinite array of tones, from the whitest white to the blackest of blacks.'
Simon has spent much of his life travelling and says… ‘this itinerancy gives me thinking time, and it’s my thinking time I love most about my life. Thinking about life and what it’s all about. I realised really quite late in my growing up that I can only live it in one way… and that is to actually live it while appreciating and watching out for every moment and making each of them count… I know that works for me quite simply because I’ve tried it every other way.’
He confesses something very personal too … that the more he’s learnt, and the more he wishes to learn, can also… only be achieved in one way… he has to ensure he is completely out of his mind.
‘You know I do really talk to my mind like it’s a trusted friend, we are separate yet intrinsically connected, but it no longer controls me. “How can I live more in the moment?” I might ask. So many of what should have been my life’s defining moments have been overshadowed… drowned out by a cacophony of self created anxiety and self consciousness. And if I listen, the answer always comes… the secret is to remember to listen… and when I do it comes every time without fail and with a wisdom beyond my own comprehension.’
‘Be very quiet and learn to breathe,’ my mind said to me. ‘Whenever you feel worried about the future or things you’ve done in the past, just quieten your mind and breathe into the feelings; then let them go… breathe in, slowly, then out again; slowly. Then you will be where you most wish to be… in the NOW, in the moment.’
In Many Faces Simon has combined a number of his favourite photographs with some of the conversations he’s had with himself and thoughts that have inspired him. He shares them here in the hope they will inspire you too.
‘I’m not sure if I consider myself principally a photographer or a writer…? Perhaps I should just describe myself as one of life’s adventurers… like we all are I guess. Hmmm, that seems most appropriate,’ he muses, and feels without words his images feel spiritless and the words without pictures impassive.
Many Faces will make you think about what you think about, whilst at the same time entertain you with wonderful portraits he has gathered from all over the world.