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Somerset and beyond - the people behind the photos

Matilda Temperley with her photograph of Britain's last lion tamer

Matilda Temperley with her photograph of Britain's last lion tamer

Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club’s new programme kicked off with an entertaining and thought-provoking talk by Somerset photographer, Matilda Temperley.

Matilda originally worked as a scientist and her work with malaria took her to Ethiopia. A visit to see the local tribes in the Omo Valley started a personal photography project about their way of life, with some stunning images of the local Suri women with large discs inplanted in their bottom lip as a sign of beauty. However, it was the enforced changes to their cultural practices and the sale of their land for large-scale international farms that led to her book about the human rights abuses in Ethiopia, Omo – Change In The Valley.

Matilda’s photographic catalogue is inspired by marginalised societies and this was demonstrated with her work with the travelling circus, where she had pictures of Britain's last lion tamer, tight-rope walkers and contortionists.

However, after many years of travelling and undertaking commercial studio photography, Matilda returned to her home in Somerset to cover the extraordinary floods that happened in the Somerset Levels in 2014. Her images of the local people and their resilience led to her sell-out book, Under The Surface – Somerset Floods. This also won the Royal Photographic Society’s Vic Odden Award in 2015.

Matilda can now be found working in the family cider-making business, but her passion for photography and human-interest stories continues apace as she meets and photographs a wealth of local characters, artists and artisans, alternative lifestyle groups and festival goers who are drawn to this creative and community-driven location.

Club Chairman, Naomi Stolow, thanked Matilda for such an inspiring and interesting presentation.

New members are welcome to join the club on a Wednesday evening at Holcombe Village Hall. See the club calendar for more information.

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