In the late autumn of 1985, accompanied by a BBC TV camera crew, I drove through a pair of rusty gates into the compound of a run down orphanage in the back streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The impact of seeing so many abandoned and mal-nourished babies and children had a profound effect on me despite the fact that I was an experienced and well-traveled newspaper photographer working for the national press in London.
The following year I returned to fully document the dire living conditions of those fragile, innocent scraps of humanity in an attempt to present to the world the reality of the situation in one of the world’s poorest countries. Almost a year to the day of my first visit to Bangladesh I found myself walking across the crowded auditorium of the Hilton Hotel in London’s Park Lane to collect the coveted ‘Ilford Photographer of the Year’ award for a portfolio of my images from the Indira Road orphanage.
Since then, between a hectic and diverse career as a photographer, I have continued to document the lives of the children and volunteers at what is now known as The Sreepur Village, Bangladesh. In 1996 I returned to Bangladesh to trace the children that I had photographed ten years previously. The assignment was a success and resulted in a major exhibition of comparative images entitled ‘How Lucky We Are’. The exhibition premiered at the NEC Birmingham and then appeared at The Chapel Gallery in London’s West End and in British Airways executive lounges throughout the world.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this photographic journey I have recently returned to Bangladesh once again to locate and photograph the children (now adults) that featured in the original ‘How Lucky We Are’ exhibition. My latest assignment has far exceeded my expectations and to commemorate this personal achievement, recognize the continuing efforts of the volunteers and sponsors of the Sreepur Village and emphasize the continuing need for support I am conducting a series of exhibitions and seminars featuring many of the images I have created during the past 25 years.
The exhibition featuring the 1986, 1996 & 2010 triptych series of black & white images, printed on archival fine art paper, premiered at London’s Commonwealth Club during February & March 2011. This was followed by a very successful exhibitions at The Assembly House, Norwich between 1st & 24th July 2011 and the Cafe in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, between 6th & 19th February 2012, further dates will be announced shortly. A series of seminars are also scheduled to both photographic and non photographic bodies interested in the background of this fascinating project. A short film of the build-up to the current exhibition is also available to view on YouTube. Here's the link youtu.be/z8LZYZYr2bs
A large format signed limited edition coffee table book replicating the exhibition will be available soon. This can also be purchased as an ebook by visiting the following link store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/318788-how-lucky-we-are