From the archive: writers
by Mark Pinder
I photographed the Booker Prize winning author Pat Barker 4 times during the 1990’s. The first time for the Independent on Sunday Magazine, next for her publisher Penguin, (from which this shot is taken), then for the Daily Telegraph and finally for Der Spiegel. This photograph was shot on the riverside at Durham using a sculpture by Colin Wilbourn made of redundant grotesques from a recent refurbishment of Durham Cathedral as a backdrop. I felt the backdrop an apt metaphor for the themes of Pat’s Regeneration trilogy, the psychological and emotional chaos of the first world war.
This photograph of poet and author Julia Darling was shot for The Big Issue in 1999. Julia liked this photo a great deal, and it was used as the author photograph on several of her subsequent books and very sadly, several newspaper obituaries when she finally died in 2005 of the cancer that had been in remission when I shot this photo.
I shot this photo of writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg in 1996 for the Daily Telegraph at his north Cumbrian home. I had heard somewhere that he was inordinately concerned about his hair, and after nearly every frame he would ask whether his hair was alright, followed by a quick flick of that thatch, to which my reply was always ‘yes’.
Unfortunately, as someone who suffers not so much a bad hair day as a bad hair life, I’m not really the right person to ask.
That magnificent beast of the intellectual jungle could have gone 15 rounds with a Wildebeest or Wittgenstein, (playing havoc with that regal mane in the process), and I still wouldn’t have noticed!