Brown Owl Press newsletter

Brown Owl Press Dispatch #6: Roz Doherty

Roz Doherty is part of the Miniclick team. Miniclick and Brown Owl Press have been friends for the entirety of BOP's existence, and can count most of the team as genuine friends. They do talks about photography that are heavy on stories being told and with zero emphasis on equipment. I've been lucky enough to be invited to do a Minlick talk once (in Leeds in 2013) as well as be part of a panel discussion about publishing during the Brighton Photo Fringe a few years ago.

Introduce yourself! Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?
Howdy! I'm Roz and I'm based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. I work full time for the mental health organisation Mind but in my spare time I do all things photography related, including focusing on my own photographic practice as well as running Miniclick Leeds which is an organisation that puts on free photography talks in Leeds. 

You are currently studying an MFA at Belfast University? What lead you to this point?
It has been a very long process! I went off to university at 18 and studied anthropology and sociology but my mind returned to photography when I moved back home. Over the years I did some evening black and white darkroom courses but I really want to study photography formally so I found an evening course at a local college and ended up staying to do a degree over 6 years. I really love studying so I knew I wanted to do a MA, I was advised to take a year out before and it was such good advice. Due to the pandemic it made sense to look at an already existing online course and it proved to be such a good decision. 

I mostly associate you with portraits of people in Bradford, is this work still ongoing?
No, that was a project I made as part of my BA and the direction of my work has totally shifted since then. My current project The Golden Age of Hijacking explores the mythology of hijacking, fiction and truth, looking at the epidemic of air piracy in America between 1968 and 1972. 

Brown Owl Press and Miniclick go way back to the year we started. How did you get involved with them?
I knew of Miniclick when I was at college and noticed how there was nothing in the way of talks local to me,I also really liked their ethos of being free, inclusive, open to all and DIY approach. Bryony Good, who was part of Miniclick, taught at my college for some time and I got involved by being a bit cheeky and asking if she would be interested in helping me set something up locally. It made sense for me to become part of the team, rather than reinventing the wheel and thus Miniclick Leeds was born! 

Has working with Miniclick informed your personal practice as a photographer?
Absolutely! I get to hear so manz inspiring artists talk about why and how they make work and it really spurs me on. Recently we had Rik Moran talk about his work, and his amazing book really made me realise I needed to revisit my current project and reconsider a few things. I also take great comfort in knowing a lot of artists make work because it is of interest to them and not because they think it will be successful, that alone encourages me to keep going.  

Do you have any idea about what your next project will be? Or are you focusing on existing ones for now?
I have an idea in the back of my mind what the next project could be but right now I'm still focusing on The Golden Age of Hijacking. I'm working on getting it out there, whatever that means, and finding an audience for it who will love the story as much as I do. Wish me luck! 

Tell us about any artwork/music/podcasts/books you're enjoying at the moment.
I nearly always have a true crime podcast on the go, Criminal and Casefile are my favourites. I've recently been introduced to Mndsgn and have been listening to his new album a lot and book wise I've had a slow reading year so far but I'm currently reading Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami. I'm a sucker for contemporary Japanese literature.  

If you could interview anyone, who would it be?
I would love to interview Christina De Middel. I love how she explores photography's ambiguous relationship to truth, blurring reality and fiction. I'd be a happy bunny if I ever made anything half as good as De Middel's The Afronauts. 

Do you feel hopeful for the rest of 2022?
I do. If nothing else, I've made a project I'm proud of and I'm looking forward to sharing it and seeing who it resonates with. I look forward to seeing what happens next. 

Upcoming books
We have several books at various stages of production including the long awaited title by Jenny Riffle. It's coming, I promise! It'll be worth the wait. Other titles by Karen Kirchhoff, Andreas Olesen, Nathan Pearce, WM Johnson and Ivette Spradlin are in the pipeline.

Still available
We recently published Oblivion I & II by Tyrone Williams and Blind by Al Palmer. Copies of all are still available. My two new self-published zines Blazetha and Explosion Season were released a few weeks ago.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or opinions please don't hesitate to get in touch.


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