Personal Photo Projects
My Personal projects
Old Hollywood has certainly played it's role in helping to keep down the contribution of the African-American's during the opening up of the old wild west frontier. Indeed some of the first settlers were in fact freed slaves who had travelled West and became skilled horseman, the black cowboys of the American frontier.
I was first drawn to these forgotten band of brothers on the streets of New York, thousands of miles from the Western Frontier. Ten years later I had time to journey to the Southern States in search of this almost forgotten community of cowboys, a community who were integral in helping to tame this unmapped and dangerous region of North America. It's a fascinating and enlighten story and has since my project, as helped to cast a light on some of these African American cowboys and their contributions that are rarely told in the history books. This is a great example of how personal projects can generate interest, my project managed to be picked up by magazines and websites on both sides of the Atlantic, but gained further coverage in Australia, China and the Middle East.
LIVING WITH ALBINISM BY JOHN FERGUSON.
My three-year photographic investigation focussing on individuals who have spent their lives living with the condition and issues that accompany this congenital disorder characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. Albinism is also associated with a number of vision defects, such as photophobia, nystagmus, and amblyopia. Typically all those photographed for this project have their own very personal intriguing and sometimes-traumatic stories which the Sunday Times Magazine reproduce and published not long after I'd finished my last subject.
MOST of us have somewhere we like to retreat to for relaxation or to gather our thoughts. But when people are affected by depression, that bolthole from everyday life can take on a whole new meaning.
I set out to capture something of that significance, to challenge myths about the illness and remove some of the stigma that still surrounds it by photographing sufferers in their place of safety.
The then Prime Minister Gordon Brown kindly launched my first solo photo project entitled "Black Britannia", a mainly environmental portrait series on 50 black Briton's who I either grew up watching, or others who have made a significant contribution to the British public life. I wanted the British public at large, to take note to some of the incredible achievements from members of the Afro-Caribbean community, and their contribution to the UK. I started this project after the seemingly continuous negative press and media coverage, which aimed to stigmatised and stereotype the black community at the time.
The project celebrates these, unwitting, role models who have all triumphed in their chosen careers. From schoolteachers, scientists, and Union leaders, to Dr. John Sentuma, Britain's first black Archbishop, Supermodel Naomi Campbell to Nicholas Tung, the first black Guardsman to guard the Queen and to have taken part in the Trooping of the colour. Also featured in the project is Lewis Hamilton, Frank Bruno, Paul Ince, Lenny Henry and Baroness Valerie Amoss.
Gordon Brown said at the launch night, "We all know the contribution of black people to Briton goes far beyond that of the household names celebrated in this exhibition. "Britain wouldn't be the Britain it is today without the contributions of it's black doctors, teachers, writers, business people, entertainers nurses and artists, the list goes on".
He went on to praise the best of the Britain's black community- and urged others to follow their dream.