My first degree was in music and in many ways I still relate to music as the most powerful and moving art form; that said after realizing that my snapshots were quite good and gaining an exhibition a visit to Iceland, I began to take photography seriously, gaining representation for my first serious body of work 'Plunge' and completing an MA at the London College of Printing in 2002.


In my photography I hope to portray a beauty in the emptiness and simplicity of spaces and the emotion that can be summonsed through photography is the reward that motivates and excites me. This may be far from the original intention of that which I am being portraying, but it is this unexpected discovery that pulls me towards an image - why the walls in a London tube station or the National Theatre?


Abstraction offers the opportunity to introduce ambiguity in scale and subject and it is this instinctive response to a subject that I feel adds the intrigue and a painterly quality to my images.



This Heaven

It was Jesse Owen who used this phrase 'This Heaven on Earth' when describing the 1936 Olympic Village: - the athletes' accommodation that also served as a propaganda opportunity for the Nazi Party.



Alexanderstatz UBahn station, possibly the busiest underground station in Berlin yet this vacant space stands as if deserted.



London Bridge underground station, the first escalator heading to the Jubilee Line, vivid advertising changes to a concrete wall

Abstraction offers the opportunity to introduce ambiguity in scale and subject.



The climbing frames stand abandoned, permanently embedded between the edges of the Baltic Sea and the Baron Forest beyond.


Iceland Skies

The sky in Iceland can move through a spectrum of colours within extraordinarily short periods. An almost colourless storm is captured, introducing an unexpected beauty. The sun emerged shortly afterwards.



A German childhood  educational toy positioned within  the structures of Birkenauas it’s setting. Symbols  of innocence are married with the structures and memory of the Holocaust


First Length In HMP

Bullwood Hall Prison  swimming pool (First Length in  Bullwood Hall).

Inmates stand in Holloway Prison’s swimming pool (First Length in Holloway).



Bathers relax in Iceland’s naturally heated Blue Lagoon.


Kerala Walls

Kerala's crumbling walls.


Minus 7

Finnish ice-hole swimmers stand in front  of the ice- hole within the frozen landscape.



Members  of the Crystal Palace Children’s’ Diving Academy stand  on the ten meter high board.


Eight Miles

Long-distance swimmers stand in the sea, preparing for the challenge ahead.



This  set of semi-abstract images documenting three London Lidos during the winter months - one in use, one empty and one derelict. Together they speak to the history and possible demise of the British open-air pool.

© 2016 Valentine Schmidt

site by Rebecca Fairman