Thursday, November 11, 2010
Artist of the Week #1: Kalann Studio
Okay, this is a bit of a personal one as Kalann Studio is owned and run by my brother Simon. I've already pointed out this week that the Colgans are a family of artists, so it seemed only right to show off some of his photography.
I can't remember Simon - or Jake as he was always nicknamed for reasons I can no longer recall - ever not having a camera in his hand. Loking through some family snapshots recently we found one of him with an old Kodak Instamatic and he must have been about eight or nine years old. It helped that our father was also a keen photographer and had a black and white dark room in one of the outbuildings. Simon was aways in there with him, developing photos and trying out various effects - dodging and burning, double exposures etc. - on the old enlarger.
I always hoped that he'd do something with his interest but, like me, he had a family to bring up and the pressures of keeping up a mortgage etc. So, for years, he was an artisan fibreglasser making bespoke bodies for kit cars and hulls for posh boats and things like that. It was only when the company closed down that he was presented with the challenge and opportunity to elevate his hobby and first love to becoming his career. He's done so very successfully. Simon is lucky in that, unlike me who moved away, he's managed to stay living in our native Cornwall. He has gloriously clear air and excellent light to play with and landscapes that range from sandy seashores to rugged moorland. His work includes portraits, weddings (and the increasingly popular pagan 'handfasting' ceremonies) and some glamour and fantasy work. And I'm delighted to report that he was recently selected for the BA degree course in photography at Cornwall University in Falmouth. It's the most sought after photography course in the UK and several hundred people applied for the three places available. Such was the strength of his portfolio that he earned a place.