COMPTON’S PASSION ISN’T JUST CRICKET
CRICKETER Nick Compton’s range of shots as an accomplished top-order batsman for Somerset earned him 16 Test caps for England.
But it is with a different type of shot that he is hoping to forge a postretirement career.
Compton, grandson of the legendary Denis, is staging an exhibition of his photography at a top Mayfair gallery.
He is not the first West cricket to seek solace in art while on a long winter tour.
Whereas Gloucestershire wicketkeeper batsman Jack Russell, who owns a successful gallery in Chip- ping Sodbury, always packed his watercolours and easel for an overseas England tour, Compton reached for his camera and tripod.
And the result is an astonishing collection of evocative photographs from India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, among others.
Compton, who announced his retirement from professional cricket last month, said photography helped him relax.
He said: “Photography has always offered me an escape away from the intensity of professional sport and so most of my cricketing life has been spent exploring countries through the lens of my camera.
“This collection chronicles the travels I’ve embarked on for the last decade, the places I discovered off the pitch and the characters I encountered along the way. The result is one I’m incredibly proud of.”
The 35-year-old, who was born in Durban, in South Africa, spent the most productive seasons of his career at Taunton, between 20102014, in a formidable batting line up alongside the likes of Marcus Trescothick, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter, Jos Buttler and Peter Trego.
His form earned him his England call-up and he ended up playing 16 Tests, with the clear highlight being back-to-back hundreds in New Zealand.
He left Somerset in November 2014 and returned to Middlesex, his first county and the one where his grandfather cheered post-war Britain wish his dashing batting.
The exhibition – Beyond the Boundary – forms part of Compton’s benefit season at Middlesex and is staged at the Maddox Gallery in Mayfair.
Presented over two floors the exhibition will showcase these unseen works by Compton taken during a ten-year period and inspired by the desire to capture the richness and honesty of life.
Maddox Gallery’s creative director Jay Rutland said: “We are delighted to be hosting Nick’s first ever solo show of photographic works. Maddox Gallery has always prided itself on our ability to recognise and support emerging artistic talent and we feel incredibly privileged to be supporting Nick’s transition from a sportsman to a photographic artist.
“For us, the field of photography is an exciting medium to explore and invest in. Nick is certainly one to watch.”
Beyond the Boundary is part of a series of benefit events and supports mental health charity, MIND. In addition, Nick will donate a percentage of the proceeds to Petra’s Place,
For us, the field of photography is an exciting medium to explore and invest in. Nick is certainly
one to watch MADDOX GALLERY’S JAY
the children’s charity established by the Petra Ecclestone Foundation.
Compton has made media appearances this summer for Sky and ESPNcricinfo as he looks to transition away from professional sport.
When announcing his retirement at the start of October, he said: “I look forward to pursuing my other interests, particularly in the media and photography as well as working on a few business ventures.”
He also talked of his pride of his cricketing career.
“I am particularly proud of my successful opening partnership with Alastair Cook and our series victory in India, the first time in 28 years an England team has won in India.
“There have been some challenges that I have had to confront, but in spite of these I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this career of mine. For one, being named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year in the 150th Anniversary Edition alongside both my cricketing hero Jacques Kallis, and my school friend Hashim Amla.
“On the domestic front, what a team I played in at Somerset. And winning the County Championship at Lord’s on the final day of the 2016 season for Middlesex provided all involved with an experience that we will savour for the rest of our lives.”
Beyond the Boundary runs from November 7-14 at the Maddox Gallery, Mayfair, 9 Maddox Street London W1S 2QE. Monday–Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday 11am–5pm
Boy on train
Nick Compton batting forEngland against South Africa in Durban on BoxingDay 2015