julian flynn

Flynn was born in Birmingham, England, in 1964. He was brought up in England and in the Languedoc region of France, where many of his family come from.

Of his many early encounters with the arts one of the most significant was with Goya's 'Caprichos' - which were to have a major influence on his self-portrait photography.

After university Flynn spent several years working as a primary teacher during which he maintained his involvement in music (playing classical & jazz guitar), and developed a passion for writing and reading poetry, especially the work of modern poets such as Geoffrey Hill, Robert Lowell & T.S. Eliot.

On returning from an extended period of travel Flynn visited an exhibition of the work of Mary Ellen Mark, and saw the book 'Immediate Family' by Sally Mann. As a result Flynn suddenly became convinced of the status of photography as an important art form and started to devote much of his attention to understanding and appreciating photographs, studying the work of photographers such as Josef Sudek, Atget & Bill Brandt.

After several months he bought himself a camera.

A year later he abandoned his career as a primary teacher to concentrate fully on photography.

At about this time he met the photographer John V Freeman whose encouragement, friendship & advice were to prove invaluable to his artistic development.

Flynn uses 35mm, medium and large formats, working almost exclusively in black & white. He draws inspiration from a wide range photographers such as Atget, Robert Frank, Irving Penn, Walker Evans, Harry Callahan, Bill Brandt & Cartier-Bresson.

His favourite working method is to place himself in, or create, a situation (a geographical area, a particular life model, a moving vehicle…) & then to visually explore it – trying to surprise himself with his vision of it. He works responsively rather than synthetically: recognising the potential for a photograph rather than constructing it from a pre-conceived idea, changing his position relative to the subject rather than moving the subject. He will work in any light conditions, weather, location, situation or time of day – believing that all situations have something to offer, something worth isolating.

Other interests include: music (especialy classical and improvised); the classical guitar; Roman literature and the Latin language; French and English literature and poetry; Mycology; science and philosophy; nature, ecology and the environment.

Till recently based in West Yorkshire, Julian Flynn now lives in the Languedoc region of France.

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