Interview with Gina Glover
Founder & Photographer
What motivated you to set up the Photo Co-op?
I wanted a change in career, having graduated in 1967 in Fine Art from Chelsea Arts School. I worked as a teacher in special schools for Maladjusted Children (the terminology of the day) and later I ran a Family Craft workshop as part of Wandsworth Adult Education.
Photography combined my interest in image making and people giving me permission to find out about people’s lives. I began taking pictures for Pavement a local commuter newspaper and wanted to use my photography to support campaigns such as fighting closures of hospitals, childcare, CND among others
What was the first major project you worked on?
It was either a calendar called Views of Wandsworth or an exhibition on childcare provision in Wandsworth commissioned by Caroline Langdridge from Wandsworth Community Council
What was the most important project you worked on and why?
I worked on so many campaigning exhibitions but perhaps the most significant for me was an exhibition made for the Campaign to Save South London Women’s Hospital (now a Tesco supermarket). This work was funded with a grant from the Arts and Recreation committee of the Greater London Council. It consisted of one salary for three women: Sarah Saunders, Corry Bevington and myself.
Part of the application was the production of a tape/slide show with interviews from staff and patients with black and white photographers documenting the working of this hospital, plus a laminated panel exhibition to be used on demonstrations to save this hospital. The documenting of this hospital was a fantastic training for me to become a professional photographer. Obtaining patient’s consent forms, photographing in many sensitive situations such as operating theatres, working with a very committed team of people were many of the skills I learnt and these pictures were the basis of the Photo Co-op picture library (now Photofusion Pictures which has a collection of pictures, including those produced by Format Photographers and Greenpeace UK).
What was so special and different about the Photo Co-Op for you?
I think it was the sharing of my passion for photography with like-minded people. Working with Chris Boot, now Director of The Aperture Foundation, debating ideas and at that time believing that Photography could make difference to people’s lives.
How and why did the Photo Co-Op change into what it is today Photofusion?
Photo Co-op changed into PhotoFusion quite organically. Many of the photographers who joined Photo Co-op who started off as amateurs developed into professional Photographers and went on to study photography, becoming artists and interested in a broader focus for photography. When the GLC was disbanded the London Arts Board and then the Arts Council funded us and which allowed us to became more artistic in focus with a gallery and have an in house education programme. A studio and colour printing facilities was added and we wanted the organisation too run as a non profit business as well as being a grant funded intuition.
What are you up to now?
I’m working on a book called the Metabolic Landscape, Perception, Practice and Energy Transition with my partner Geof Rayner and daughter Jessica Rayner , published by Black Dog Publishing due to come out next month.
The Metabolic Landscape addresses humankind’s search for more powerful sources of energy to sustain its increasingly industrial and urbanising existence. For the majority of us energy is simply what we pay for when we switch on the light or fill up our cars. We notice the rising cost of energy or comment on wind turbines in the landscape. The real costs of energy – the impact of CO2 production on climate and the impact on ecosystems - is something no one wants to think about. To illustrate this in 2013 I have been photographing coalmines in the Arctic and geothermal plants in Iceland, nuclear reactors in France, hydroelectric power in Wales, Photovoltaic ‘sun farms’ in Germany, oil wells and hydraulic fracturing sites in the USA and glacier loss in Greenland.
I am also working on a three light boxes exhibition for the London Deanery, an NHS Health Education Intuition in Russell Square. The first light box is called Standing of the Shoulders of Giants which portrays portraits of 270 past great London health innovators. The second light box, a collage of approx. 100 health campaigns on Public Health and the third is called the Academy of Art and Science, and shows past and present medical art images produced as if they were part of a Royal Academy Summer show.
'Photography combined my interest in image making and people giving me permission to find out about people’s lives.'
Founder & Photographer