We caught up with AUB alumni, Glenn Dearing to discuss his photography career, future projects, and success post-university.

Did you always know Photography was your calling?

I wouldn’t say it was necessarily Photography that was my first calling, but there was always an Arts-based thing in my mind from a young age. Having left school as a keen 18-year-old knowing I wanted to do something in art, I did a Foundation course (when Shelley Park was still in existence before becoming AUB). A Foundation course doing whatever you want to do, was the ideal route for me.

I found myself moving into Fine Art to do painting and sculpting. In the last term of the course I started doing all my Fine Art pieces within photography and some bright spark pulled me aside and said, ‘Just go and do a photography course!’ So, I moved my specialism from Fine Art to Photography and never looked back.

What did you do next?

I went on to do a National Diploma (ND) course at AUB, which was the next logical step for me. After that, I stayed and did a three-year BA, so I was a student here for quite some time. I chose to stay at AUB because there’s nothing as great as here. I was living here and everything was on my doorstep. I made the right decision. Even people that left in the 80’s still have that hard connection to AUB.

You obviously have a creative streak, did that come from your family?

Not at all! I came from a grammar school background, knowing from 15 or 16 that I wanted to do Arts-based options. I did feel a bit of reluctance from teachers choosing that path. It was a bit tricky at times, but I was head strong and I had a passion for art.

How did the photography course shape your work?

I found what I liked quite early. I used my three-year degree course as a complete self-indulgence. I was shooting lovely art pieces, and then got totally involved in the commercial world, which you often have to do if you want to make a living from it.

But I’m realising I don’t want to do any of that now. I’m coming back to the Fine Art pieces that I was always working on, and shooting on old wooden plate cameras that require you put a big hood over your head to use. I’m shooting onto film and moving more into alternative processes – shooting pinhole and wet plate where you pour your own silver, and generally getting as far away from digital as possible.

Are you not a fan of digital photography then?

Maybe it’s the digital influx, or a big change that happened during my commercial shooting that’s really pushed me away from it. It’s become so throwaway, everyone’s got the same camera, everything looks the same, everyone’s trying to emulate film, so I’m just going to shoot on film. I’m trying to move away from it and create that ‘uniqueness’.