Ilfracombe Exhibition

I’ve been working towards my exhibition, Sea Caves, Shipwrecks and the Rocky Shore, at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe from 25th February until 13th April. Ilfracombe is full of stories of smugglers, pirates and wreckers with place names like Brandy Cove and Samson?s Bay, named it is said after an infamous smuggler. Hidden beaches only accessible through tunnels, cut through the cliffs by Welsh miners in the Victorian era. One of these tunnels itself was a mighty cave which William De Tracey took refuge in 1170 after the murder of Thomas A Becket. October 9th 1796 is another key date in Ilfracombe?s maritime past, the day the London was wrecked at Rapparee Cove, adjacent to the harbour. Its cargo?was prisoners of war, from the West Indies,?passengers and a quantity of gold and silver and Ivory.

Right now is a great time to have an exhibition in the town because of its association with Damien Hirst. His artwork is made in a factory on the edge of Ilfracombe and a caf?, 11 the Quay, is decorated with his original artwork also a couple of months ago a huge statue of his, Verity, was installed on the harbour side. So Ilfracombe is becoming an Art Mecca? I hope so, and that my exhibition at the Theatre will add to its attraction.

Two of the pieces in this show are brand new and have never been seen. They are from the rocky shore below Hillsborough, where the London was wrecked. Many other images have never been seen before in North Devon. My next major exhibition in September is on the sandy coast of North Carolina, where this work will tour the Maritime Museums for a year.

If you’ve read all the way down to here, please come along to my Private View on Saturday 2nd March 2013 at the Landmark Theatre 7.45pm. I’ll always be pleased to meet a reader of my Blog!



I’ve just gone through the pains of replacing my computer. My main frame was making so much hard drive noise and running so slowly that it was high time I moved forward from XP and 2gb of ram. I now have a Intel i5 processor with 8gb of ram which should suffice for a few years. Suddenly I am able to construct images that I could not have hoped for in the past and this image from the cave at Menachurch Point will be my biggest ever photograph once it is completed.

This constructed photograph is made up of 116 separate frames, many of which were triplicates of the same part where I would use my hand or dodging tool to remove flare; then skillfully merged together in Photoshop layers (minus the fingers). I will be able to get this 1.5gb file printed fine-art high-quality to at least 5 foot or 1.5 metres. An earlier ‘snapshot’ version is below.

This cave is of particular interest to me; lying at the edge of North Cornwall AONB at Hartland it is the spot where the RFA Green Ranger came to rest after it’s shipwreck at Gunpath Rock in 1962.

Green Ranger – copyright unknown

Oops! Hopefully nobody noticed, the shipwrech at Menachurch Point is actually the 1,925 ton steamship “Belem” stranded in thick fog here on 20th November 1917. I’ve included a picture of some of the remains at the bottom of this blog post. There ought to still be something left of the Green Ranger further up the coast – I shall have to explore soon!
I’ll be leading a photographic workshop ‘Sea Caves, Shipwrecks and the Rocky Shore’ here on Thursday 1st November, exploring this and many other caves and what is left of the Green Ranger (see below). You’ll get a good introduction to my own photography whilst learning how to make the best of your own including using your camera under demanding landscape and lighting. Price for the day is ?50, please email me to book a place:


Remains of the shipwreck 'Belem' 1917