Cornwall LivingIssue #77

Rewild yourself

We catch up with award-winning photographer and graduate from Plymouth College of Art, Nicholas White, about his experience studying photography.

When Nicholas was growing up, his holidays were spent visiting his grandparents on Dartmoor, “so the outdoors were always a big part of my life, and photography was always a part of that. When it came to studying, Plymouth College of Art was one of the few remaining specialist art colleges, which
was important to me. I focused my projects there on the outdoors and Dartmoor was a big influence.”

“‘Rewilding’ is restoring natural balances, allowing nature to take its own course.”

Nicholas explains that the idea of ‘rewilding’ is embedded in his work. “‘Rewilding’ is restoring natural balances, allowing nature to take its own course. If you’re going to work with the land then you have to be prepared to embrace all of it. It’s all about embracing our connection with the outdoors and not being afraid to explore it.”

Nicholas now lives on Dartmoor. “I have the best of both worlds – easy access to London, so connected with industry, but I can go hiking in the national park, not see another person for days and make some of the best work I’ve ever made!”

He encourages us to ‘take the leap’. “Everyday at Plymouth College of Art, you’re surrounded by likeminded individuals and are constantly being pushed and encouraged. As soon as you leave you can feel isolated, and the panic can set in. I would give the same advice that my brother gave me: it’s a leap of faith. Just go out and make work, keep making work and it will pay off.”

“Since graduating and becoming a freelance artist, I have been self-employed for just over a year. I’m comfortable as both a commercial editorial photographer, with lighting and digital equipment, and a fine art photographer, where I capture portraits and landscapes on larger medium format cameras. Both of them complement each other, giving me the opportunity to experiment across disciplines.”

So what’s next for Nicholas? He tells us: “I won The Royal Photographic Society’s Environmental Bursary, so I’m travelling to Romania and photographing the Guardians of the Forest as they return mountains and forests to a state of pure wilderness.” Nick will be using the Guardians’ scientific data to map his shoots, following migration corridors of bears and footprints of wolves, and the images he captures will be used in his next book, a follow up to his previous publication, Black Dots, so watch this space!


Feeling creative?

If you’re interested in creative study, why not explore Plymouth College of Art’s facilities and diverse range of digital media programmes at an upcoming open day? Visit for more details.

"‘Rewilding’ is restoring natural balances, allowing nature to take its own course."