I am a Documentarist
...by which I mean that I am one who, in an attempt to make sense of the times in which we live, engages with others to gather, create and present – with as few fictional additions as possible – stories made out of photographs and/or oral testimony.
Since coming to Wales, more than thirty years ago, I've mostly earned my living as an independent photographer and by teaching in higher education; except, that is, for the years 2001-2006 when I was creative director of Capture Wales (all links open in a new window), the BBC digital storytelling project, which I devised and led. (For more on BBC Capture Wales go to the Digital Storytelling pages on this site.)
Here is my CV.
Born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1952 I studied at Manchester Polytechnic 1970-73. Photography projects from that time include The Shop on Greame Street in Moss Side (1972) as well as collaborations with Martin Parr: Butlin's by the Sea in Yorkshire (1972) and June Street in Salford (1973).
In 1973-74 I toured England in the Free Photographic Omnibus running free portrait studios in towns and cities across the country. My account of that journey: Living Like This - Around Britain in the Seventies (Arrow Books) was published in 1975.
Other Photo-Documentary Work includes
1972: Stockport Gypsies.
1975-77: Photographer-in-Residence, Pendle District, Lancashire.
1975-83: New Society commissions.
1976-81: Welfare State International.
1978: Clayton Ward, Prestwich Hospital, Manchester (for the Observer Magazine).
1979-80: Factory Records.
1981 and '83: Co. Durham Social Services dept.
1984-87: Suburbia, Bromley, Kent.
1995-2000: National Portraits, Now & Then.
1978-80 I worked as a researcher and occasional presenter for local television programmes in Manchester.
Between 1981 and 1994 I worked as a freelance publicity photographer in the movie and TV business, mainly for film directors Tony Palmer (biopics of Shostakovich, Wagner, Mitsuko Uchida, Yehudi Menuhin), Christine Edzard (Little Dorrit, The Fool) and Ken Russell (The Mystery of Dr. Martinu, Lady Chatterley's Lover).
BBC Radio 4
* 1988. A Place of Your Own. Three short talks in celebration of the suburban ethos (r/t 12 min each). Behind the Privet Hedge, transmitted 24 April. Nameplates and Lifestyles, transmitted 1 May. Upward Mobility, transmitted 8 May. Produced by David Perry.
* 1996. Living Like This. Documentary (r/t 30 min). I revisited some of those I first met while travelling on the Free Photographic Omnibus in 1973-74, transmitted 10 June, repeated 10 August 1997. Produced by Alan Dein and Mark Burman.
I began full-time teaching in January 1981 at Humberside College of Higher Education where I delivered a photography programme for graphic design undergraduates. In 1983 I moved to Wales to teach alongside David Hurn on the Documentary Photography course at Newport's School of Art and Design. In 1994 I moved to Cardiff University to teach photojournalism to postgraduates in the Centre for Journalism Studies. In due course I also began doing digital storytelling with undergraduates. In 2001 I went on secondment to the BBC, working on Capture Wales. Returning to Cardiff University in 2006 (to what was now the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies) I delivered classes in photo-appreciation, digital storytelling and participatory media to both undergraduates and postgraduates. I also supervised dissertations across the range from BA to PhD. I retired from academic life in August 2012.
In 1995 I began studying the active relationship we all have with our photographs, the ones which represent us and in which our stories are contained. As a result I turned away from being one who "does media to people" and began facilitating others in the making of their own media. My PhD, completed in 2005, tells the story of this journey, explaining why I now work using multimedia, in particular with digital storytelling and other short narrative forms.
* 2001-2006: following a research trip to the USA, I devised the BBC's digital storytelling project Capture Wales which has been described as "the most ambitious of all the BBC's user generated content offerings".
* 2007-2008: Arts and Humanities Research Council & BBC Pilot Knowledge Exchange Programme Scheme: A Public Voice - Access, Digital Story and Interactive Narrative, a collaboration with Dept. Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Glamorgan. My role was to undertake an audit of digital storytelling practice in Wales. See pp178-222 of the research publication.
The Daniel Meadows Archive: an investigation. See the Archive page on this site.
See the Exhibitions page on this site.
Work in Public Collections
* The Arts Council (England) collection has prints from the Free Photographic Omnibus.
* Birmingham Central Library, the Sir Benjamin Stone legacy collection: twelve photographs from the Free Photographic Omnibus purchased in 2009 with an award from The Art Fund.
* Heritage Trust for the North West, Nelson, Lancashire, has a complete set of 35mm negatives, contact sheets and 10x8 inch prints for more than 600 buildings (and parts of buildings) photographed for European Architectural Heritage Year (1975), during the Borough of Pendle residency 1975-77.
* Side Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: a complete exhibition of 33 panels (unframed). Each panel measures 15 x12 inches. This show was put together for Northern Arts, one of the six Regional Arts Associations (RAA) who sponsored the Free Photographic Omnibus, in 1974.
* Victoria & Albert Museum, London: pictures from group exhibition The Other Britain, 1982, commemorating the 20th anniversary of New Society magazine.
See the Books page on this site.
In the 1990s I taught photojournalism workshops for the Reuters Foundation, The British Council and others in the emerging democracies of Europe; also in India and Bangladesh. Between 2000 and 2008 I travelled widely (mostly in Australia and the USA) lecturing about the new work I had been doing in participatory media.
2002: BAFTA Cymru for BBC Capture Wales.
2006: Cardiff University Innovation Network Prize for BBC Capture Wales.
2008: Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.
Click here to send an email to Daniel Meadows