Guest blog: local artist Jenny Grewal discusses how she became a photographer in our first ARTSPACE blog

13th May 2019 / Museum blog

Hi, my name is Jenny, and I am a wildlife and nature photographer based in Chippenham, Wiltshire (I am also a vet in my spare time!). I am delighted to have been included in the exhibition of local artists at Chippenham Museum, and I have been asked to write something about myself and the inspiration behind my photography. The inspiration provided by the natural world is something I could go on about with very little encouragement, so I’ll try to keep this brief!

I took my first photos with a bright pink plastic Olympus when I was 6 or 7, and, somewhat inevitably, my first photos were of animals. I set my sights high early on, and at the age of 9 submitted a photo of a piglet to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition (I remain in the dark as to why my parents let me do this – an extremely average photo of a captive animal definitely did not fit the bill – perhaps they thought it would be a learning experience?!). For a while training to be a vet took over most of my time, but after qualifying I was able to give more time to my photography.

Nature and wildlife have always been what inspires me to take photos – there is so much beauty in nature, whether in the perfect symmetry of the horns of a Greater Kudu in Tanzania, or the miniature wonders in our back gardens. For the photographs on display at Chippenham Museum, my aim was to show the beauty of flowers and plants in a less obvious way – by focusing in on the tiny details, and the parts you would not see unless you took the time to move closer. From the intricacy of the mountain cornflower stem, to the unsurpassed elegance of the fritillary, these photos gave me a window into the magical but often unnoticed botanic world which can be found in any park or garden. I hope you enjoy looking through that window, and hope it may inspire you to take a closer look at the life which is all around us.

Jenny’s work features in Enchanted – The Magic of Nature running from Saturday 18 May to Friday 31 May at Chippenham Museum