Stuart Haden

Stuart Haden

Artist, Project manager, Writer, Teacher, Researcher


What you see depends on your visual intelligence and appetite. I search for new subjects and innovative ways of expressing these. How those subjects look within the frame interests me. I always compose at the time of photographing and print the whole frame.

I am interested in how "what I photograph" is transformed by being photographed. I am interested in how the other elements
within the frame change "what I photograph". I am interested in how I can change the meaning of "what I photograph" by placing it in the frame and excluding or including other things. I am interested in how the subject relates to the frame of the photograph. I am interested in what the camera and film shows of "what I photograph". I am looking for surprising elements that are not normally seen by the eye. I look at a frame on the contact sheet, which was exposed at two hundred and fiftieth of a second, to see if the image has changed "what I thought that I had

I believe in the principles of Aesthetic Realism, stated by Eli Siegel:

1. The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.

2. The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it .... Contempt can be defined as the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it.

3. All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.

I am interested in the form, light, composition, texture, tone, space and context of "what I photograph". Of course, the film must have the correct exposure, be without blur and be as sharp as possible. I am interested in photographing buildings, streets, landscapes, tree, people, events and transport all of which are in the public domain. I am a street photographer. I document subjects. I am always interested in how people interact with the environment. That for me is social documentary photography. I want to make beautiful photographs which are balanced, surprising, simple, tense, witty and more meaningful than the collection of facts within the frame that the camera and film describe so well. I am interested in discovering a frame, on my contact sheet, which shows me something new about "what I photograph" because of its relationship to the frame and all the other elements contained within. When I see that, I print the photograph. The test of a successful photograph, for me, is whether I have contained sufficient information (no more or less) in a composition that I am pleased with and it shows me something new that I had not been able to capture before.


The following photographers:Eugene Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Vik Muniz, John Sazrkowski's books on 'Mirrors and Windows' and 'Looking at photographs' and

the following artists: Enrico Baj, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kurt Schwitters, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Tom Friedman, Mimmo Rotella, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, Frank Stella, Donald Evans,

the following architects: Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Luis Barragan, Sir Peter Cook, vernacular building, indigenous art,

the philosopher: Simone Weil,

the psychologist: Carl Rogers,

the economist: E.F.Schumacher,

the scientist: James Lovelock,

the lawyer and peace activists: Danilo Dolci, Gandhi,

the musicians and composers: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Eric Satie, George Anthiel, Claude Debussey, Sergei Rachmaninov, Edward Elgar, Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky

and the comedians: The Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, Max Wall, Tommy Cooper and Peter Cook.

Career path

1961 to 1964: Hammersmith Collage of Art and Building.
1964: Architectural Association School of Architecture, passed R.I.B.A. part one Intermediate exam
1966: first mental breakdown, undiagnosed depression.
1967: married first wife.
1970: passed R.I.B.A. part two Final examination, went to live on a commune in Scotland.
1972 to 1976: First Year Master Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow University & Art School
1974: divorced first wife.
1978: taught at the School of Architecture, the University of Texas at Austin.
1979: studied photography in Garry Winogrand's course School of Art, University of Texas at Austin
1980: returned to London
1981: project manager for the Architect's Design Group in Anguilla.
1982 to 1984: taught at the Inchbald School of Design as first year course director.
1984: worked in numerous architect's practices.
1987: married second wife.
1988: first son born.
1990: went to live in Colombia for eighteen months.
1992: returned to England, first daughter born.
2005: received first Arts Council Grant documenting people & environment in Broxbourne.
2008: ceased photographing
2009: diagnosed with bladder cancer.
2010: moved to London.
2011: rented flat and studio, commissioned as self employed Architectural Consultant, make collages and assemblages from waste material found on the streets and footpaths, reads and researches the news behind the news about wars, free energy, extraterrestrials, unidentified flying objects and crop circles and the 911 terrorist attack in NYC and Washington DC., receives Jungian therapy and medication for life long depression,
2013: diagonosed wih tongue cancer, receives chemotherapy and radiotherapy, starts photographing on a daily basis again and writing semi autobiographical account, interviewed by Phil Coomes, the BBC Picture Editor and the "quiet author" of Spitalfields Life,
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Location London
Activities Built environment, Private commissions, Creative writing, Photographic documentation, Graphic Design
Artforms / type of project Architecture, Drawing, Environment, Mixed Media, Photography
Tags architecture, art, photography, teaching, research, writing, street, black and white, collage, objet trouve