Like a lot of my photos this one was taken very quickly. I’m pleased with how the central figure is almost exactly under the arch, that he is wearing red and has resolutely turned his face from the camera and all the other figures that flank him. The woman on the left in the blue t.shirt has a slightly fixed inscrutable expression on her face while her posture, the head and upper body twisted, makes it uncertain in which direction she will eventually go. Meanwhile on the right hand side of the frame another two figures seem on the verge of dancing or play fighting their way out of the picture.
I think this was taken in Ferndale in the south Wales valleys. Trying to retrace a journey taken approximately thirty years ago is difficult. Part of the problem was that I was undertaking this work independently, with neither a college tutor nor an editor dictating the terms under which I worked. Furthermore, a week, a month, a year after I had taken these pictures I would have been able to pinpoint their locations precisely, but now I am reliant on sparse, paper-thin fragments of memory and the photos themselves.
This was taken from the window of the classroom where one evening a week I was learning how to print photographs in the darkroom. I loved this class except for the fact it always meant I had a long journey home on the bus alone, fairly late at night. The city at night is beautiful but not necessarily safe. I overcame my fears because at that point in my life I was desperate to learn and change.