When I was working in advertising in Bangkok I met Benjamin Arthur, a fellow Englishman. I was a creative and he was a suit but regardless – we still got on.
We went our separate ways, me into painting and he into photography, and when we met up a few years later in Chiang Rai he showed me a series of portraits he had shot of people in the region.
We decided to do an exhibition entitled Take Two featuring his original photography and my translations of them on wood.
I searched for interesting pieces of wood and assembled a collection of floorboards, off cuts, parts of trees and anything interesting. I then “matched” these with Benjamin’s photographs.
Most of the portraits are pure woodstain but a few combine acrylic colour.
Unfortunately the exhibition never happened and I guess this is the nearest it will get to a public showing as such. Benjamin lives in Amsterdam and I am still here in Chiang Rai so it’s not exactly practical.
One funny memory of working together is when we were presenting to Coca Cola, never a particularly enjoyable or rewarding experience. As usual, everything was being rejected and, as usual, Benjamin was doing his best to defend the work – so much so that he began defending it even before it had been criticized, prompting the client to say “Can you at least let me say something before you disagree with me.”