With the current world news, if ever there was a time for escapism it is now. The photographic world can make a real contribution to this.
Escapism, for me, does not mean a denial of truth or pretending that circumstances are good when they are not but, rather, making space for those experiences which absorb and refresh you. I like the word ‘immersed’. I have been out and about with fellow photographers so immersed in capturing a photo that it seems anything could be happening around them and they would be oblivious! This utter absorption is good for our mental health. Repeated visits to a favourite subject can be beneficial too – think Turner painting cloudscapes over and over again, or Monet with his studies of water lilies. They were able to repeatedly lose themselves in a familiar subject.

Art, music and photography can all take us to a ‘safe and happy’ place. When I watch

I remember being in the audience, and the delight of that concert.

Possibly my first experience of escapism as a youngster was listening to music, where I would escape to the lyrics and my imagination, completely losing myself.

My interest in art began to develop in my teens. My long-term association and familiarisation with works in the National Gallery in London has been foundational to my understanding and exploration of the arts. Another resource which provides me with escapism is my art DVDs; they can transport me back into an exhibition I have visited or, on some occasions, an exhibition that I didn’t visit but would have liked to).

Around the same time in my life another route to escapism presented itself in the form of the Star Trek series. Before you all shout, “He’s a Trekkie!” I feel I must inform you that I do not own a costume/uniform, and I can’t speak Klingon!

If you have been following the GCM blog for a while you will be aware of my bookshelf. Recently, you would have realised that I am a huge fan of Landscape Photographer of the Year books. These are stunning publications, and all you need is a cup of tea and a piece of cake and you can immerse yourself in the whole experience of exploring images from the UK

I also have a collection of photography books that are related to specific areas in the UK

I have also produced a book for my bookshelf that contains my own images – “Within the Landscape”.
This can be viewed at : Within the Landscape

These are my personal examples of escapism; they work for me, although they might not for you.

I hope you find your own way of obtaining a calm space in this crazy world.

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