Vaughan Melzer Photography

Interests informing my work

The great untapped potential of ordinary people.

And my attempt to be, in part, a mirror for them – feeding back to them a sense of their greater worth in a society which seems so often, only to value money, material things, celebrity and genius.

Exploring the psychic landscape which is such a major, but hidden, force dictating how we act and relate to each other.

Exploring the visual beauty of natural things, often finding metaphor and symbolism for the psychic landscape.

Attempting to understand the rise of communism and its significance and its consequences for those whose lives were dedicated to its universal fulfillment.

It wasn’t until I was in my fifties that I took the risk of leaving a safe job in social work to become a photographer. I didn’t even know if this is what I wanted to be. But I did know that I liked making pictures. In 1996, I made the fortuitous decision to take one of the newly formed studios at the Chocolate Factory in N. London and over the years I have developed two picture-making pathways.

A natural outcome of my enjoyment and curiosity about people generally has led to my becoming primarily, a portrait photographer and I am building various portfolios which include: local people of Crouch End; my neighbours at Chettle Court, the council estate where I live; communists and people whose lives are lived politically in the interest of ordinary people. I work both in the old way using medium format film and printing my own black and white pictures, as well as making digital colour portraits.

The direct realism of the photograph, however, gives me limited scope to express the more complex aspects of life, involving feelings, experience, politics and the ideas that I have. Having a studio seemed to give me a permission I longed for in my life, to make pictures of all sorts. Working so close to other artists has been encouraging and inspiring. My artwork is influenced by the countryside, and politics but most importantly, it is more spontaneous than my photography.

Chocolate Factory 3
40 Cumberland Road
Wood Green, London
N22 7SG