Alex Brattell

Instructor, London Center

Brattell’s interest in photography started when he was a psychology undergraduate at Liverpool University in 1981 with an ambition to become a writer. Comfortable with a camera from the outset, what was intended to be a visual diary to accompany writing projects soon took centre stage. His first published picture was a portrait of professor Patrick Minford for The Financial Times. In 1982 Brattell’s photographs of the author William S. Burroughs were purchased by his publisher, John Calder.

He was the staff photographer and writer for the Liverpool Music and Art fanzine “Breakout” until he began several years of employment in the photographic industry as a social & commercial location and studio photographer. He became freelance in 1986. By this time he had already established his fine art practice and was regularly exhibiting his prints in shops and restaurants. His first solo exhibition was at Veronica’s Restaurant in Bayswater West London in 1984.

Moving to a studio and darkroom in Poplar, East London in 1987, Brattell divided his time between commissions from design companies and PR agencies, editorial assignments and making prints of his personal images. He freelanced for The Sunday Telegraph for 14 years under picture editor Nigel Skelsey and worked for diverse publications including The Times, Arena, GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Tandoori, Skin Two magazine, Square Meal andFortean Times. His work with musicians continued through work for fRootsmagazine and with The Big Chill, then a small Sunday club event planning their first festival, for whom he photographed, co-wrote (as Headonastick) and co-edited the Big Chill magazine “ON” (1995–1996).

Moving to a studio and darkroom in Poplar, East London in 1987, Brattell divided his time between commissions from design companies and PR agencies, editorial assignments and making prints of his personal images. He freelanced for The Sunday Telegraph for 14 years under picture editor Nigel Skelsey and worked for diverse publications including The Times, Arena, GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Tandoori, Skin Two magazine, Square Meal and Fortean Times. His work with musicians continued through work for fRoots magazine and with The Big Chill, then a small Sunday club event planning their first festival, for whom he photographed, co-wrote (as Headonastick) and co-edited the Big Chill magazine “ON” (1995–1996).

Commercial clients during a 25-year period have includedPricewaterhouseCoopers, CVC Capital Partners, Freud Communications' and international hotel design company Hirsch Bedner Associates. Brattell resisted specialising, enjoying the contrasts and challenges offered by a combination of still life, food, interiors and portraiture.

In 1996 Brattell began teaching part time, first at Cordwainers College Hackney, then at The London College of Fashion. He has facilitated numerous community projects and student exhibitions at venues ranging from The Whitechapel Gallery to doctors surgeries.

He continues to accept commissions, most usually from artists, performers and craftspeople, teaches photography part time at Sussex Coast College Hastings and exhibits regularly. He increasingly works with galleries such as F-ish, Hastings (curating), The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (art projects in primary schools) and Towner, Eastbourne (exhibition events).