John Walmsley Surrey, United Kingdom
I've worked as a freelance documentary photographer since leaving Art School in 1968. My final year project on A.S. Neill and his democratic school, Summerhill, was published as a Penguin Education Special in 1969. My work is at the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain Library, the National Art Library at the V&A, the V&A Museum of Childhood and la Bibliothèque nationale de France.
New book out: https://www.johnwalmsleyphotos.co.uk/-/galleries/store/wester-hailes-book-1979 In 1979 I had a grant from the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) to live on the Wester Hailes housing scheme, work with the kids at the new Wester Hailes Education Centre (the WHEC), and wander the neighbourhood talking to locals and taking photos.
I particularly like photographing people, ordinary people, doing what they do. Most of the sets of pictures which have 'lasted' were ones I self-started and self-financed. They can all be seen on my new website where you can buy my prints, postcards and books.
I'd like to have more work in exhibitions so I'm very happy to have found Curator Space. I've exhibited work at the National Portrait Gallery twice and at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, but also like to show in smaller, less obvious places. When the Charing Cross Hospital, London, was opened, I put up a temporary exhibition there which was great for all the people with time on their hands. It brightened their day.
At the end of summer terms, I used to work with school kids, often the less academic but, I always thought, more enthusiastic and entrepreneurial spirits, and we'd spend the week on a project of their choice.
I now have a motto: 'Artists should be paid, too'. It seems to me that people think they should not have to pay for art. "It's there on the web so I can use it, right?" I give talks to artists, actors, photographers about what to do when someone uses your expensively produced work and refuses to pay for it. On this subject, I'm amazed that one artist will copy the work of another or incorporate it into their 'new work', without even asking or giving any credit to the original artist. I've suffered from this and it makes me very cross. Please do not do it. It's so easy to ask.
With social media, I'm a lone voice in the forest. I've read their T+Cs and read about the people who own and run those sites and the way they treat young people. I don't want anything to do with them so I don't 'Do' social media. Many artists, on the other hand, find it works for them. But, it all looks too dangerous to me. Flickr and LinkedIn are OK, though.
Projects and exhibitions
27/04/2022 — ongoing
A joint exhibition with many other artists in this artist-run gallery.
|Espacio Gallery, London||Details|
02/04/2022 — ongoing
5 of my photos in an exhibition with many other artists
|Virtual, organised by FLUX REVIEW, London||Details|
26/03/2022 — ongoing
Chronos exhibition explores the complex nature and passage of time; how we relate to the past, how it influences our actions in the present and how we deal with our expectations for the future. It invites viewers to reflect on our awareness of time, how we organize our lives around it, and also the way we experience it.
|Echo's Studio, Sao Paolo, Brazil.||Details|
22/02/2022 — ongoing
Collect Art was set up to promote local Georgian artists but now also accepts work from other artists. My work is in a physical show in Tbilisi and also online here: https://www.collectartwork.org/post/johnwalmsley
|'Collect Art' Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia||Details|
Talk to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
I'm a member of the NUJ and this was a talk to the Edinburgh branch about my self-published book, 'Wester Hailes, 1979', based on a community on the edge of the city. I also talked about other projects I've done and then about how creative artists can protect their copyright, fight plagiarism and copyright infringements and derive an income...[Read more]
|Zoom, Edinburgh, Scotland||Details|
Talk to the Society of Authors
I'm also a member of the Society of Authors and had noticed there could be problems when authors used images. This talk was about where to source images and if you had a right to use them. It introduced individual artists' (incl' photographers) websites as well as the international picture libraries and confirmed that, for most images,...[Read more]
|Zoom, Guildford, Surrey||Details|
ING Discerning Eye
12/11/2021 — ongoing
The annual exhibition of small artworks for sale to benefit this charity. Last day is Sunday 21st Nov 2021
|Mall Galleries, the Mall., London||Details|
Wester Hailes, 1979 exhibition
25/10/2021 — ongoing
An exhibition of photos I took in Wester Hailes while on a grant from the Scottish Arts Council (as was) in 1979. It was held to coincide with a new self-published book of the photos complemented by reminiscences from people who were there at the time. Book available...[Read more]
|WHALE Arts, Edinburgh||Details|
100 years of the Magistrates Association
11/10/2021 — 23/10/2021
Celebration of the wide range opf work covered by Magistrates. My section was on the Right of Association, three photos from the sit-in at Guildford School of Art, 1968.
The Virtual Art Fair 2021
30/04/2021 — ongoing
Wide range of artworks. Mine were photos of Stéphane Grappelli, Vanessa Redgrave, a landscape, art school sit-in from 1968
|Online only: https://www.thevirtualartfair.co.uk/peoples-choice-award?pgid=kn7d3f8l-3904dd6f-3598||Details|
Inner city: Out of Place
24/04/2021 — ongoing
The many facets of inner ciities. My two photos were of earthquake damage in Armenia and a beggar on the streets of Moscow.
|Online only: https://loisemmaharkin.wixsite.com/innercityoutofplace/john-walmsley||Details|
Socially Engaged Art Salon
25/11/2020 — ongoing
I'm exhibiting my photos of the student sit-in at Guildford School of Art, 1968, which became the longest ever at an educational institution in the UK and led directly to students and staff being invited, for the first time, on to the Advisory Boards of schools, colleges and Unis.
Since 2016, SEAS has put on a successful programme of...[Read more]
Kensington & Chelsea Art Week
18/10/2020 — ongoing
Little Voices is a place for addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time through collective creativity. See how artists today are mobilising action on climate change and inequality to create a better tomorrow.
|Online at: https://www.little-voices.co.uk/john-walmsley||Details|
'100 Years of Justice'
01/09/2020 — ongoing
Online show here: https://www.ma100yearsofjustice.com/ It celebrates the first 100 years of the Magistrates Association covering the areas of life which magistrates commonly deal with. My section is on Freedom of Association.
|Online. Physical show will be in 2021||Details|
'Stand Up', celebrating International Women's Day
07/03/2020 — ongoing
The show is now online with a virtual tour here: https://artcoregallery.org.uk/virtual-tour/ The show in-gallery is closed.
|Artcore Gallery, Derby||Details|
A Black and White Christmas
19/12/2019 — 11/01/2020
Had 30 B&W photographs as a rolling projected programme at the gallery.
|Pineapple Black Arts, Middlesborough||Details|
'Falling Walls', mail art exhibition.
01/11/2019 — 16/11/2019
'Falling Walls' exhibition, part of the 'Berliner Zeitgeist' project at the Stroud Valleys Artspace, Stroud, Gloucestershire. This was an exhibition of Mail Art to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
|Stroud Valleys Artspace., Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK.||Details|
Anna Scher Children's Theatre, 1972.
In 1972, I spent many happy evenings photographing the Anna Scher Childen's Theatre in Islington. As with my other projects, I did it because it was interesting, fascinating, and was great for these local kids. This publication is one of the six of my work published by Café Royal Books: www.caferoyalbooks.com. The lad on the cover is a...[Read more]
'Finding Our Voice'
26/05/2018 — 08/07/2018
In 1968, I was a student at the Guildford School of Art. We were unhappy at the quality of teaching and structure of the courses so the students and concerned staff met to discuss what could be done and then asked to talk with the governors. They refused again and again so we began a sit-in which became the longest ever at a UK educational...[Read more]
|Guildford House Gallery, Guildford||Details|
Protest and standing up for yourself.
Liverpool John Moore's University held a four day festival called, 'Time Tunnel', and invited me to talk to, mainly, Fine Art students about protest, after my involvement with the long sit-in at the Guildford School of Art in 1968. I'm concerned that students these days are not given enough real life advice for a very demanding business...[Read more]
|Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool||Details|
Liverpool Free School exhibition
20/07/2017 — 01/10/2017
In 1971 I had photographed the Liverpool Free School. In 2017 the photos were exhibited at the Bluecoat in Liverpool as part of the 'Abacus' exhibition. Also known as the Scotland Road or Scottie Road Free School it was founded and run as an alternative to normal school by two teachers, John Ord and Bill Murphy, who worked with the kids and...[Read more]
|Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK||Details|