BiographyPatrick was born in Oxford 1952. He has led a colourful and varied life which
has undoubtedly contributed to his eclectic artistic career.
He left school at seventeen to do a brief spell of military service; however he decided early
on that this life was not for him. In fact it was his commanding office who suggested that he went to Art School in Oxford - a greater contrast is hard to imagine.
During his student days he earned extra money as a stage hand at the Oxford Playhouse
as well as reviewing pop records on air at BBC Radio Oxford. From his three years work in the
theatre he developed a life long interest in set building and illusion. He went on to the
Polytechnic of Central London from where he graduated with a BA in Photographic Arts in 1977.
His first job in the film industry was as an assistant film editor at Scott Free Productions.
This experience was rudely terminated when he mistakenly ran the rushes of ‘Alien’ upside down.
Nobody has ever said Ridley Scott was an easy man to work with but after another few months in
the industry he reckoned that this world was not for him.
The next stop was Cairo in 1978 where he found a job as art director-photographer-illustrator
in Egypt’s first advertising agency after the Soviet period. After a year of living almost
entirely on beans he returned to London and tried to find his way as a photographer although in
actual fact spent most of the next 3 years as a courier driver. This did at least allow him time to
travel especially behind what was then the Iron Curtain. At last he was back on the creative road with an assignment to photograph for a budget travel company which took him to Italy in 1981; he has
lived there ever since.
In 1982 he found work as a humble beach photographer near Rimini followed by work as a
portrait photographer in a posh hotel in a seaside resort until eventually he opened his first
photo gallery in Bologna in 1988. The gallery had the unexpected result of launching him as a
fashion and beauty photographer followed by the opening of his own large studio loft. From
fashion he progressed to advertising work for the next fifteen years.
Running parallel to commercial photography was an interest in photography as an art
form. He had always sold prints to collectors since he had opened his first gallery in 1988.
The first photo of what was to be known later as the Belle (meaning beautiful women) was
taken in 1988. A lighthearted take on the Death of Marat by David called ‘Homage to Corday’.
Since then he has done around 75 further works and the project is ongoing.
Whenever possible he would involve his more enlightened clients in his artistic ventures,
producing images that went beyond the purely commercial, exhibiting them in fine art exhibitions
from 1991 to the present both nationally in Italy and internationally. For example, the series
Metamorphoses developed from a calendar for a company manufacturing automatic gates.
He started exploring Tuscany and Umbria and the little known region of Latium in the late 1980s soon becoming fascinated by Etruscan and Roman history as well as falling for the beauty of the landscape. As a result of these ever more frequent excursions he set up his photo workshops in 1999. He and his family have lived in Orvieto, Umbria since 2007.
How many years have you been taking photographs?35
ReferencesDuring his commercial photography career he was a member of the Association of
Photographers, London, for fifteen years, winning one of their prestigious awards in 1992.
Since 1988 he has had five photo-art galleries exhibiting predominantly his own work. He
has also had pop-up galleries for periods of around 3 months, the latest being in Amsterdam
- 14: Sep 2nd 2021: Figure in the landscape. From conception to framed print.
- Patrick Nicholas
- Orvieto, IT