SNAP CRACKLE POP
Singer Sandi’s focus on the world
BEING an internationally touring pop star, it seems, is one of two things – boring or hectic.
Due to both, Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom started taking photographs with a Christmas present from her mother four years ago.
The result is an impressive collection of images – so impressive that they are now on show at Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire.
“I have quite a bad memory and taking photographs was a way for me to catalogue certain events.
“Sometimes when you live in a such a manic way, touring and travelling around the world, you forget what you’ve done. It all just becomes a blur,” says Thom.
“I just thought to myself that if I didn’t do something to catalogue it, I would regret it. Now, when I’m older I can gather the grandchildren around and bore them with stories and pictures of my life.”
Thom’s stories are unlikely to be boring.
The singer, famous for her breakout single I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker and her 2006 album Smile...It Confuses People, became an internet phenomenon with a live broadcast being seen by millions before she had even released a single.
When Sony saw the figures, they snapped her up – a media backlash followed against Thom and after the second album, The Pink and the Lily, bombed, Sony was quick to drop her.
Not that that stopped Thom. She went ahead and set up her own record company, independently producing and releasing her third album, Merchants and Thieves, last month.
While all of this was going on, in the middle of the maelstrom Thom took pictures.
“I never thought about exhibiting them or anything like that,” she says.
“I was just taking them for myself. It was only when other people took a look and said they were really good – and I was like ‘really?’.
“I wasn’t doing it to create art. I suppose I was just taking pictures.”
Thom has been playing the piano since she was four and is clearly a creative sort; which is why the pictures she was taking, ostensibly as souvenir snaps, have been snapped up at Nunnington Hall.
The North Yorkshire National Trust building has staged a series of impressive exhibitions over the last few years, with Ronnie Wood, Bryan Adams, Police guitarist Andy Summers and Sir Paul McCartney’s daughter Mary all showing their work at the venue.
Sandi Thom, who played a concert at the hall last night to launch the exhibition, is following in their impressive footsteps.
“In my case it was just that they asked me,” says Thom.
“Simon (Lee, manager of Nunnington Hall) is a photographer and so he is good to talk to.
“I think perhaps with a lot decided to take a picture,” says Thom.
The result – as is the case with all the images, even though Thom says “technically speaking I couldn’t have an intelligent conversation about photography” are impressive.
“It just comes as it comes. I don’t look for it. I just see something and think ‘that could make a good picture’,” says Thom.
“I’ve got lots of great photos of the band on tour and people on the tour bus and really funny things that no-one else will ever see. But it’s great to show people this different face to my work.”
CREATIVE ARTIST: Singer-songwriter Sandi Thom, who is also a photographer, with her work which is on show at Nunnington Hall in North Yorksh