The Intriguing Nick Bantock
Many years ago when I first saw and read "Griffin & Sabina", written and illustrated by Nick Bantock, I was so fascinated that I wondered what kind of person could put together a book like this. The book was about the strange and intriguing correspondence between Griffin and Sabina who never met or knew each other. After this book, he wrote and illustrated many other books and sold altogether more than five million copies worldwide.
About a year ago I found out by accident that he lived on Salt Spring Island and had his own gallery called The Forgetting Room. Shortly after that discovery, one of my girlfriends told me that his wife was an old friend of hers.
I sent him a letter and a book wiith my portfolio asking if I would be able to photograph him. Thanks to my girlfriend's help, he agreed to sit for me, but did not want to come to Vancouver.
One early Spring weekend I packed all my photographic equipment, including a lighting system and both my Nikon and Mamiya cameras in my car. Then I left for Salt Spring excited. It was challenging to photograph someone whom I had never met, but also extra stressful to work on locations I had never seen. But I didn't have a choice.
When I walked in The Forgetting Room and saw Nick for the first time, he looked as if he had just stepped out from an El Greco painting and put on modern clothes.
Nick turned out to be a lovely person, easy to communicate with and cooperative to all my requests, but he carried an air of intrigue as well. The photographs I took show many of his faces, each one different. I took about 150 images and like most of them.
The photograph above was taken in March 2009.
Nick Bantock is a writer, a painter, a sculptor and a print maker. He has authored 24 books and sold more than five million copies worldwide. www.nickbantock.com
Yukiko Onley is a Vancouver based photographer who specializes in photographing people. Her service is available upon request. www.yukikoonley.com
Techinical Information: Nick Bantock's photograph was taken with Nikon F6 Camera and a 80-200mm zoom AF lens. The film was Ilford PanF 50 ASA.