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“I can still remember my fascination as the image slowly emerged on the paper as it was gently agitated in the developing tray. That sense of wonder has never left me.”

Embarking on a Photographic Journey: From Childhood Curiosity to Profound Exploration

Nurturing a lifelong affair with the lens, Stuart Cashmore has seamlessly transitioned from a career in IT into the expressive world of photography, immersing himself particularly deeply since his retirement. The London-based semi-professional photographer, boasting a notable 43-year career predominantly within healthcare and the charity sector, has intertwined his technological prowess, derived from a background in electronic engineering and IT, with his artistic inclinations, forging a distinct photographic style. Retirement has given him the cherished liberty to delve profoundly into his photography, drawing plentiful inspiration from the architecturally rich environment of London and accumulated materials from his extensive travels, predominantly to the US and Europe, during his working years.

The artist’s photographic journey, traced back to his tender years around the age of six or seven, unfolded under the considerable influence of his father, himself an amateur photographer. Cashmore was introduced to the captivating world of photography through the lens of familial connection, watching his father develop film and print negatives in their domestic makeshift darkroom. His father, recognizing a burgeoning passion, gifted him his first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, at the tender age of nine. Though there was a brief lapse in interest, a rekindling of his connection with photography blossomed during his teenage years, motivated initially by shyness and the realisation “that if I was the person taking pictures I wouldn’t appear in them” and further cultivated by a supportive school teacher who ran a photography club at school.

“Blackfriars Bridge 2”

Stuart Cashmore – The Exhibition Era: Unveiling Artistic Merit to the Public Eye

In the ensuing years, the artist immersed himself deeper into the domain of photography, acquiring his first SLR, a Zenit-E, and embodying the role of an enthusiastic amateur photographer. Cashmore, specializing in the encapsulation of ‘everyday’ photography, dedicated his lens to capturing family moments, holidays, and pivotal life events until 2003, when his journey took a creative detour towards a more artistic and innovative path. His photography began to pivot, navigating away from mere documentation and moving towards an exploration of artistic expression, substantiating his works with a delicate balance between the everyday and the exceptional.

With a heartening nudge from his wife, Cashmore first showcased his work at the London Photographic Festival in 2012, inaugurating a period of consistent public exhibitions. Notably, his piece “Downtown Atlanta, early Sunday morning” not only garnered a spot at the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2014 but also achieved remarkable acclaim with all 25 prints in the edition being sold. His works have graced various renowned venues, such as the London Photo Festival, East Finchley Arts Festival, Lauderdale House, and the London Art Biennale, to name a few. Furthermore, he has captivated audiences with solo exhibitions at distinct locations like the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, the Lexi Cinema and Gallery, London and the Beerblefish Brewery, London, painting his journey with layers of both personal and public milestones.

“Vent 2a London – St. Giles”

A Confluence of Abstraction and Urbanity: Cashmore’s Artistic Insight

In the captivating abstractions of Stuart Cashmore’s work, viewers are coaxed into a fresh perception of the commonplace, envisaging the ordinary—like street furniture, reflections in structures, and architectural patterns—with renewed wonder. The artist’s compositions, oftentimes found pulsating with geometric vivacity and splashes of color, invite onlookers to traverse beyond the immediate and into a world where common threads of reflections and a pronounced emphasis on steps and stairs dance with both static and kinetic energy. Here, steps and stairs are celebrated for their paradoxical nature, evoking both stability and movement. Cashmore describes them as “a kind of architectural koan: they are simultaneously static but moving, they go up and they go down, but they stay where they are.”

“Lamp post and tramlines, Berlin”

Cashmore’s workspace, unbounded by physical walls, encompasses wherever his explorations take him. Cities across the globe unveil their structural narratives, providing the buildings, windows, and street furniture that become the protagonists of his photographs. While good light—especially the golden embrace of Autumn—is pivotal to his work, patience too plays a crucial role. People, often unintentional trespassers into his frames, sometimes necessitate a waiting game for the unadulterated shot, a pursuit that has birthed some of his best work, including an evocative image from Berlin’s Alexanderplatz in 2016.

“Copenhagen Reflection 5”                                        “Copenhagen Reflection 4″

Stuart Cashmore: Marrying Scientific Acumen with Artistic Expression

Artistically, Stuart Cashmore finds his muse in various forms and figures, with notable creators like Mondrian, Rothko, Hopper, and Klimt, alongside photographers like Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson, and Leiter, shaping his perspectives and artistic appreciation, albeit not necessarily directly influencing his style. Works that resonate deeply with him include Mondrian’s “Composition B (No. II) with Red” and Rothko’s “Light Red Over Black”, illuminating not just his aesthetic preferences but also hinting at the layers of complexity and abstraction that inform his photographic work.

The choice of medium, photography, elegantly unites Cashmore’s scientific and artistic facets. Although he has ventured into other expressive realms, such as painting, drawing, and pottery, it is within photography that his technical and creative synapses find harmonious expression. Here, the artist’s scientific acumen and artistic spirit converge, enabling a unique, expressive outlet where precision and passion, technology and artistry, coalesce into a vibrant tableau of visual storytelling.

“Downtown Atlanta, Early Sunday Morning”

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