If you’d have said ‘Bristol’ to me in the past I’d have told you the story about my brother missing the last train home after a night out and sleeping on a bench on Temple Meads train station.
Before last year I had no connection to Bristol. The Bristol Parkway sign was my marker to tell me I was nearly in Wales visiting my brother but I’d never had cause to turn off down the M32. So why now? And more importantly why spend time telling you?
Seven months ago I took a giant leap of faith, resigned from my job in higher education and moved away from the only place I’d ever lived, all in the name of love. And now I have this great opportunity to share my worst kept secret – my love affair with Bristol – with you.
Last month I wrote a guest blog about the Roman Empire exhibition and someone, somewhere liked it enough to ask me back for a regular slot. So each month I will be going to events, exhibitions and festivals in this wonderful city and sharing my adventures with you as I transform from a tourist to a local. Feel free to join in the conversation using the comments box, Twitter or Google+.
In my spare time I enjoy photography so when I heard that the National Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition was at MShed this immediately went on my to-do list.
Standing in the doorway of the empty gallery (empty of people that is) I felt distinctly underwhelmed if not a little disappointed in comparison to my experience of last year’s exhibition in London. The small blocks on the wall for each image weren’t particularly striking in comparison to the backlit boards in the Natural History Museum, but I couldn’t let that put me off. With the audio guide hanging around my neck I started to mooch through the displays making the most of being the only one in there (which only lasted about ten minutes).
I saw a lot of great photos but I was beginning to wonder if I was going to see the image that makes you stop in your tracks. It wasn’t until I reached the black and white category when I saw ‘Shot in the Dark’. Big cats fascinate me – the sheer dominance of the tiger as a predator at one end of the spectrum and the gentle feline characteristics shared within a pride of lions at the other – and this photo demonstrated both that fierce and gentle nature that captivates me about these creatures. It’s sharp penetrating eyes say don’t mess with me but it’s body displays a sense of wariness of the passing vehicle.
But you know what, some of my favourite images came in the 15-17 year old category. I love them because they’re natural; by this I mean not overly enhanced or digitally edited. I would happily hang a framed ‘Harvest gold’ next to ‘Fairy lake’ that stole my heart last year.
Did you go to the exhibition? I’d love to hear which photo took your breath away and why.
This post first appeared on Bristol #PROSPECTUS, a project that has now ended.