I have been photographing polar regions for over twenty years. Trained as a marine biologist and oceanographer, I first went to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle on the invitation of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1992. The elemental, almost abstract landscape made such an impression on me that planning subsequent visits became something of an obsession. Five more expeditions to North and South polar regions followed, and icebergs have remained the object of both visual and intellectual fascination. My best images were produced on board Royal Navy icebreaker HMS Endurance and from the vantage point of its Lynx helicopters in 1999 and 2007.
I went to Havana in 2014, and again in 2015 - first to see it before it was irrevocably altered by the forces of history and geopolitics; second, because Havana, once tasted, is an irresistible drug. Armed with a Fujifim camera, a spare battery in my pocket, and a single fixed lens, I spent three weeks walking the streets of El Centro and Havana Vieja, the old districts, trying to capture the melancholy beauty and decay of the city, and the people who live there.
Havana is famous for Communist charm, icons of Che Guevara, old Chevrolets, courgette-sized cigars. All of these appear in my photographs - unavoidable cliches, and yet part of the city’s fabric. As are peeling walls that swirl from tomato red to pink; schoolgirls in ochre skirts and crisp white shirts; aquamarine lintels against turquoise doors, and sienna torsos lit from within a doorway’s shade. Havana gluts the eye.