Chris Waller at samizPhot Chris.Waller

I took my first photograph at the age of twelve. It was Easter of 1965. My grandmother had just died and, thanks to Dr. Richard Beeching, the local colliery exchange-sidings - my childhood stamping-ground - were being torn up. These events may seem to have no connection but I was on the cusp between childhood and adolescence, and the real world was beginning to intrude through the comfortable haze in which that childhood passed. Three months earlier I had watched Churchill's funeral on television. I had a sense that one world was coming to an end had and another was about to begin.

I took four photographs of the last days of the exchange-sidings with my quaint little grey-plastic camera with its one shutter-speed and three aperture options, 'sunny', 'hazy sun' and 'dull'. That was my introduction to the documentary power of photography. Thus began, almost unconsciously, a project to document my former home town of Swadlincote, a project which is now almost at its end as the last remnants of 'my' Swadlincote are lost to property development.

My photography has continued and changed, but still the urge to record is dominant. Why I do it is difficult to explain but it is a compulsion. I avoid trying to understand why I do it for fear of destroying the magic - like looking behind the scenes at a theatre and seeing the ropes, woodwork and dust.

I now teach photography and aim, through that, always to turn people on to the enormous power of the photograph.

As Rodchenko said, "Photograph, and be photographed !".

We may achieve immortality.

Freezing Hill.
samizPhot, June-August 2007

Time the Avenger - return and conclusion.
samizPhot, May-September 2006.

The Wall.
samizPhot, Apr-May 2005.
(reshow by public request: Nov 2005 to Mar 2006)

Bags, Labels & Logos: Consumer Culture and Identity; Tribal Emblems in the Age of Retail Therapy.
Revival (Bristol), Jan 2005.
samizPhot Feb-March 2005.

Four On Two
Watershed (Bristol) March/April 2002

Time The Avenger
Watershed (Bristol) March/April 1992