RCPS Press Report 19th October 2017

After some brief housekeeping from our Vice president Emma Littlefair and a welcome to any new members, we tonight enjoyed a very enthusiastic presentation from Yorkshire born and bred young photographer Joanne Coates.


Joanne’s talk primarily centered round her love of exploring and meeting rural communities, particularly those involved within the fishing industry in the UK.  This particular interest had begun during childhood trips to visit her Grandfather, a part-time fisherman on the North Yorkshire Coast at Whitby, but it has taken four years of study of fine art/photography in the bright lights and bustle of London for her to appreciate her rural roots and for her to explore her interest in the islands and coastal communities more.


Joanne’s work does really tell a story. The first part of the talk focused on her years getting to know the fishing communities of Orkney, earning their respect through time spent talking with them, tagging along on their inshore fishing trips and then gaining trust enough for them to allow her onto a trawler going much further afield into the Atlantic- living and breathing the life they lead out there- 3 hour sleep shifts included! Her photography skills have improved somewhat throughout this time (her own words!) and the quality between the first image she shot and some of the more recent were apparent. Joanne has recently had her work published on the BBC news website (“In pictures- the plight of the fishermen”) and recently her work documenting women working in the fishing industry graced the front cover of the ‘Weekend’ supplement in the Yorkshire post (“Fishing trip nets a cast of characters”). These women really were characters – from harbour-masters (or harbor –mistresses correctly) to researchers to full-time commercial skippers these are ballsy women, as this profession is not for the faint hearted.


Other projects she discussed included Liznojan, meaning ‘ to learn whilst following a track’ which took her self-sufficiently walking across Northern England over 3 weeks documenting encounters with people she met- some not for days apart.


I am sure that we all learned more about the other side of the fishing industry and shall all think more about the hard work that has gone into catching our seafood next time we are tucking into it after this very visual thought-provoking presentation.


Joanne has spearheaded the forming of  ‘Lens think Yorkshire’ a bi-monthly social in Yorkshire to meet, share work ideas and develop photography in the North which I think was news to all of us but provides a place for like-minded amateur and professional photographers to meet and exchange ideas.



We all look forward to the next meeting- the results of our recent ‘scapes competition being judged by Peter Thompson. Usual time of 7.30pm in ‘The Arches’ at Holy Trinity Church Crypt, Ripon.  Any new members welcome!

By:Heather Eastham