David Winston, who spends his time in Cranbrook and Venice, is both a photographer and a restorer and maker of musical instruments. He sees a direct link between his two passions.
His work with musical instruments has included the restoration of some of the most important pianos in the world, including those of Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. In 2012 he was granted the Royal Warrant to HM the Queen.
In his photography, he has been looking for a way to work beyond the constraints of modern digital imagery. This has led him to both look back to the earliest photographic process and also develop his own alternative ways of producing a photographic image.
He says: ‘My musical instrument restoration involves seeking out lost sounds, bringing the voices of long dormant musical instruments back to life. I see these ancient instruments as recording devices, which have captured and stored all the sounds produced on them across the centuries, and as I work on them, they slowly emerge from silence. In this, there is a similarity with photography, which is captured light. I have always been fascinated by old images and the life and light contained within them. For me, it is the painterly quality of old photographs, as opposed to the exactness of modern photography, which lends them a different emotional impact. My attempts to recreate the unique quality of these images in a modern context have led me down the path of alternative and early 19th Century photographic processes.’
Born in California, where he studied Film and Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, David moved to the UK in 1970 and travels extensively with his camera. Like many artists before him, he has been drawn to the city of Venice as a constant source of inspiration and now divides his time between Venice and the UK. His work displays the detached, watchful eye of the outsider, evidenced in his evocative and atmospheric images