Steve was born in Aston Under Lyne, England and has lived in his flat for 16 years. A retired Photography Lecturer and full time lonesome drifter, he was at the heart of an Art School, in Manchester, where I was one of his students – he inspired young and old to be free and learn that creativity is not just an an idea, it is a lifestyle.
What does your bedroom mean to you?
My bedroom is a slumber palace, studio, library and a superstore of oddments and dreams. I almost never loll in there, mostly edit photographs, read, listen to the radio, make art or stare out of the window, oh and you know, sleep.
How did your interest begin in the news posters?
I have a long time interest in found words, text and poetry. News A boards are the most obvious ever changing street messages we receive, perhaps unconsciously. So I just point a big photographic finger at them, as well as pinching them from outside shops. My favourite is “PART TIME COWBOY CAUGHT WITH AMMUNITION”
It takes a real man to wear pink, but not only do you wear it, you live in it. Why so much pink?
I live in a former B&B, I moved into a pink haven, with an oversized pink fireplace, ornate pink light fitting and pink curtains, I responded with pink polka dot bedding. It seemed both fitting and seemly not to upset the psychic balance of the house’s pink past. I have always worn pink I love the range of the colour from the palest salmons to a vivid fuchsia. It cheers me to the marrow. I have the skin tone and bold, sassy front to carry it.
As a photographer, who or what inspires you most?
I adore the material world, the fabric of the everyday and common place. Simple curiosity – what’s going on here, why are things this way, how did that happen, who are you and what do you do? Just call me inquisitive; I love bumping into things and people, often simultaneously.
You’re a keen cyclist, right? Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve cycled?
Superlatives are hard to pin down, and each day brings new and different surprises. My recent trip through Shropshire, the Welsh Borders and Cambrian Plateau was exhilarating. Though the Antrim Coast, Spain’s Costa Verde and the Pyrenees, Goyt Valley, Wildboarclough are all favourites. Everywhere.
When are you happiest?
Almost all the time.
When did you last cry?
Several days ago, reflecting on the welfare of my estranged children Colette and Bob and the death twenty-five years ago, of my daughter Maria.
If your bedroom were on fire, what would you save and why?
Family photographs, they are irreplaceable. My interest in photography began looking through these very albums and biscuit tins of snaps.
What’s your favourite biscuit?
Tunnock’s Milk Chocolate caramel Wafers, recently I saw a Tunnock’s truck, with a giant biscuit on the side, leaving Parfett’s Cash and Carry. I still fantasize about stowing away and building a new biscuit based future at: Thomas Tunnock Limited, 34 Old Mill Road, Uddingston, Glasgow.
If you could have a cup of tea and that biscuit with anyone, who would it be and why?
Annette Newman, my imaginary muse – Nanette Newman’s more intelligent and vivacious sister, who shares my love of almost everything, including Tunnock’s biscuits and a profound hatred of Fairy Liquid.
What song do you always find yourself going back to?
Otis Clay – Is it Over?
Tell a joke?
A man goes into a railway station:
“Can I have a return ticket please?”
Naked or bedclothes?
It runs along a spectrum from bob hat, jumper, socks, plaid pajama trousers, a range of less than somewhat attractive t-shirts to nothing. According to mood, climate, company and the precise position of my highly organised laundry cycle.