Phil Clarke-Hill is a photographer I’ve worked with a few times, back when I was running the picture desk at Bizarre magazine. When he came to see me with his book, he was just beginning in his career. His work was good, quite raw. As I recall he’d gone off to Bolivia photographing shoe shine boys. It was a nice story, well photographed. But beyond the photographs, I liked Phil’s attitude, he was hungry. Plus he’s very easy to get on with, which is a distinct plus point.
I ended up commissioning him on the spot, mainly because he was planning to go to Bolivia again to follow up on his earlier project. And my editor was planning to go to Bolivia on holiday and go to some of the crazier festivals out there. Phil ended up shooting three assignments for the magazine.
Recently he’s sent himself off to University to get himself educated in the ways of the MA, courtesy of Westminster Uni. There’s some good teachers on that course, Max Houghton for example. I, of course have been coaching him to shoot in colour and leave those crazy B/W ideas behind, well I may have mentioned it anyway…
I’m pleased to announce that his graduation show is coming up on Tuesday next week and it should well be worth a visit, mainly because his final show is about the illegal rave scene as it exists today. The series is called Free To Party and he’s been documenting it for a few years: this exhibition is the fruition of that exploration.
This is a really strong project, it’s great to see how Phil’s work has really come of age. He’s definitely one to watch for the future.
About Phil Clarke-Hill:
Phil is a documentary and travel photographer, since 2007 he’s been producing cultural and environmental stories internationally. His work is regularly published and commissioned by clients such as The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, the BBC, El Pais, the Telegraph, New Scientist, the Arts Council, Reporter Brasil and Age UK.