Charles March, born in London in 1955, has been interested in photography since the age of twelve. By fifteen, he was taking “Leaver” portraits of boys at his school, Eton College. A year later he left school and, having met the Australian film director Ben Lewin, landed himself a job working on the film Barry Lyndon with Stanley Kubrick. A year later, he moved to Africa for ten months in search of different subject matter, working on a health education photography project on the Somali/Kenya border, before returning to London in 1975.
After his time away, March decided to concentrate on still life/special effects photography, testing the limits of existing technology at the time. Over the next fifteen years, March worked for renowned publications such as Harpers & Queen and Italian Vogue, and photographed campaigns for clients such as Osborne & Little, De Beers, Levi’s, Silk Cut and Marks & Spencer.
March won many awards including a silver medal for the AFAEP (Association of Photographers – at the time, the most prestigious award for a photographer in the UK) and in 1991, a picture of his for Osborne & Little was selected by the Pompidou Centre in Paris for their collection as one of the pictures to represent ‘One Hundred Images of Advertising Photography from 1930 to 1990’. Immediately following this, his life took a very different direction when he assumed responsibility for Goodwood, his family estate, although he has always continued to take pictures ever since.
In 2002, March conceived the idea of “using the camera as a brush”, which he began to apply to his landscape photography. Ten years later March returned to exhibiting his work publicly, starting with the critically acclaimed exhibition Nature Translated at the Bermondsey Project, London. The following year, his work was included in Landmark: The Fields of Photography at Somerset House, London and March was a finalist for the Arte Laguna Prize, Arsenale, Venice.
In 2014, March had a solo show of Nature Translated in the State Russian Museum (Marble Palace), St. Petersburg, which was also exhibited in Moscow as part of the 10thInternational Month of Photography ‘Photobiennale 2014’.
March continued the tree theme in a series of pictures called Wood Landwhich was exhibited at the Venus over Manhattan Gallery in New York in 2015. A very personal project, the series represented trees and places that March has been around since childhood and symbolised an important part of his personal and wider history. The same year March’s series Abstract & Intentional, shown at Hamiltons, was photographed during March’s time at the Marble Palace, and continues the theme of his prior work. Philippe Garner, who was with March in Russia, writes “The resulting pictures…inspire the imagination and transform the specific into the symbolic and evocative; these pictures confound the popular expectation that a photograph must represent a precise moment in time. Instead, they convey a sense of extended experience – of a passage through time, a dream sequence of blurred effects from an impressionistic movie.”
In recent years, March has turned to the sea and created his series Seascape. Focusing on just one short stretch of the Atlantic Coast off the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, the pictures in this series were all shot over four years at different times in the year. The series has been exhibited at Venus Over Manhattan Gallery in Los Angeles and was shown at Hamiltons in September 2017. In 2018, March had an exhibition in the Borghese Palace, Rome of highlights of his career to date, including a new series of work taken on the Scottish islands of Jura. It coincided with the launch of a book of these photographs, Gleann Badraig.