I have had a busy couple months on the road. I started in September by shooting room sets for OKA in the UK and then went straight to the Middle East where I shot a very diverse and interesting series of commercial work in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut, some of which I will write about shortly. In the midst of all of this I was offered an exhibition in Abu Dhabi with some of my work in the Arab world over the last 20 years. This created a bit of a conundrum as back in 2005 my darkroom in London suffered a catastrophic flood which resulted in five serious years of litigation with the water company involved as nearly 20,000 images were destroyed, many of which were from my North African and Middle East archive. I flew back from Beirut and the first thing I had to do was dive into the remnants of the old archive. A lot of the images were disposed of as they had been completely destroyed and most had suffered water and drying damage so I have not opened the files for over 12 years as it was too painful but I urgently needed some images for the exhibition. Luckily due to the court case I had to catalogue all the remaining images so I knew where most of them were located. On first inspection a lot of the negatives looked fine but when we began to scan the damage became apparent but I was working with a wonderful printer called Walter Tjantele who worked some wonders with Photoshop and we managed to rework some old images. The picture here was taken in Algeria whilst I was shooting the Momo's Cookbook with a wonderful man called Mourad Mazouz, the owner of Momo's and Sketch in London. The image is of his sisters and sister in law and was shot in Kabylie in Northern Algeria and this is the first time I have printed it.
As a result I have decided to spend some time going through the archive to see what can be salvaged and with a bit of luck I hope to create a new body of work which I should probably call After the Flood.