Towards the end of 2014, I took a trip down to Devon to meet a very special lady.
The lady was the widow of a hero of mine. She was Robin Ravilious, who was married to the great James Ravilous until his untimely death in 1999.
I had been commissioned by Professional Photographer magazine to interview Robin and talk to her about James and his work. Back in 2010 I purchased a copy of An English Eye which has become prime, really, in my love of story telling and in particular black and white imagery.
I remember being mesmerised by the images, and the subsequent documentary that was produce (A World in Pictures – BBC Documentary) and I felt like I had a real connection with the characters and subjects that James interacted with.
Sadly, Professional Photographer magazine, after many decades in print, went out of business around Christmas time and the interview I had planned will never be published there. I’m hoping that I will get time to re-edit the audio and publish the interview myself, probably here, as Robin has some lovely tales to tell and really opened up about how James Ravilous and his wonderful photography.
She very graciously allowed me to photograph James Ravilous’ Leica M3 (below). As you can see he substantially modified his Leica M3 with, amongst other things, bits of pots and pans.
James Ravilious, in my eyes, is one of the un-sung heroes of British documentary photography and if you want to explore more of his work please head over to the Beaford Archive where you can see many hundreds of his pictures from his time documenting rural North Devon between 1972 and 1989.
Please do purchase prints – James work is special, and should be preserved and displayed as much as possible.
You can also see more and purchase prints directly from Robin by visiting http://www.jamesravilious.com/.