We’ve interviewed Northampton-based nurse and photographer Andy Feltham. His captivating work inspired by Wes Anderson and the surrealist movement culminates in three on-going series. Both of which we fell in love with.
Hi Andy! First of all, please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m Andy Feltham, a nurse based in Northampton, UK.
How did you get into photography?
It all started five years ago, when my wife bought me a Panasonic LX5 as a wedding present. I’ve been on the hunt for bigger sensors ever since, and have happily settled on my Nikon DF which I’ve had for a year and a half.
Please give us some background information about the selected images or project.
I have three ongoing projects: Six Degrees is my very occasional dip into street photography. I see huge amounts of mediocre street photography out there, but when it’s good – think HCSP on Flickr – the Earth moves… sadly, I’m a way off of these multi-layered masterpieces.
Lost Cause is my urban exploration work. The emptiness, decay and high-contrast light in an abandonment are intoxicating ingredients for an image. Actually getting in there is usually the hardest bit. The adrenaline surge when I set foot in a derelict building makes me think that this is my way of dealing with the midlife crisis!
The final project, Incidental View, makes up the bulk of my work and is where the featured images are selected from. This series documents my desire to confront and question the monotonous. Each piece aims to celebrate the incongruous marriage of perceived isolation with an overriding sense of wonderment at the world around us.
What inspires you?
Photographically, I don’t need much encouragement to get me going. In fact if I don’t get out and shoot every few days, I get quite frustrated and start mentally framing everything I see. Having said that, I do enjoy a perusal through one of my treasured photobooks with a cup of tea. I find it can cleanse and focus the mind to look at good work. My favourite artist is Edgar Martins. He has probably influenced my work more than most. I enjoy the immaculate minimalism and the precision of his compositions, and both are hallmarks I aim for in my own work.
Outside of photography, Wes Anderson is definitely someone who inspires me. The attention to detail in each film is admirable and is an attribute that I hold dear. I probably get a bit too excited about each release, and I never tire of repeat views.
I’ve currently got a couple of commissioned pieces in the summer show in a Northampton shop that sells my work,15 Collingwood. The brief was ‘Boot & Shoe’ to celebrate the rich local history in the shoe trade. I enjoyed working within the confines of the assignment as it was a different way of working for me. However I think I prefer the freedom of just putting on some comfy shoes and seeing where I end up. And if I’m lucky, I’ll end up with a half-decent image or two by the time I get back home.
What is your next step? Have you got any new projects on the horizon?
I’ve got an idea for my next project but I just need to undertake my first shoot to get out of the blocks. I want to document Working Mens Clubs, but not the people. Just the empty spaces. They are so quintessentially British and perhaps something of a dying breed. Time has stood still in some of the clubs, which is also a large part of the draw for me. I get the feeling that once I’ve approached the first club and got some usable images from it I’ll be off. I’ll have tasted blood!