Richard Chivers – The Shot I Never Forgot – ‘Monkey Puzzle’

 ‘Monkey Puzzle’ 2005

This photograph was taken in the 2nd year of my Degree course at Brighton University in 2005. Up until I took this photo I really wasn’t sure how to progress my photographic practice, I wasn’t really any good at thinking of a concept first and then making the work to support that concept. What I enjoyed about photography and still do today was to randomly explore my surroundings and capture areas of the landscape that I found interesting and that I thought had a beauty to it, and then eventually a project would reveal itself.

I would also often be disappointed with the outcome of the photos, having found an interesting subject to photograph I would be really excited to see the outcome but quite often felt the outcome didn’t live up to my expectations. ‘Monkey Puzzle’ was really one of the first photos that managed to live up to my expectations of what I was trying to achieve when I took the image.

The photo is taken at the old Cement works in Shoreham and i really just felt all the elements came together to create an image that had a real beauty to it, especially in the relationship between the Monkey Puzzle Tree and the grey crumbling building, its been 8 years since i took it and i still like it now.

Ironically although responding to this image has led to different projects evolving, I have never used it in a project as I have felt that it has never really fitted in. As I loved the photo I had it on my website as a single image, which my peers often couldn’t seem to understand and would often laugh about. It is now part of a collection of photographs that I am calling Monkey Puzzle, the collection isn’t suppose to work as a series but instead they are really just a collection of stand-alone images that I have taken that I find interesting, maybe they will evolve into something else further down the line.

Olivia Poppy Coles - 4th April 2014
Rut Blees Luxemburg - 13th January 2014