sigvaldi friðarsonur's lifetime
ABOUT SIGVALDI CV Born 10/03/45, Huddersfield, Yorks. Education 1957 - 1963 Allan Wilson Technical High School, Salisbury, Rhodesia: 8 ‘O’ levels. 1963 - 1970 British Aerospace, Hatfield, Herts: 6 year indentured apprenticeship - mechanical and production engineer. 1967 –1969 University of Bedfordshire: BSc Engineering Professional 1970 - 1972 Kluth and Odes Advertising, Johannesburg: Art director - Renault, Hoechst, Trevira, Revlon. Client liaison, art direction, copywriting. Activities in Press. 1972 - 1976 Formad Advertising, Durban: Executive Creative Director - Mazda, Fiat, Ford, Leyland. Client liaison and management, new business, art direction, copywriting. Activities in Press and Cinema. 1976 - 1979 J.Walter Thompson, Johannesburg: Account Director - Leyland Cars and LCV’s, Caltex, Safmarine, Yardley. Client liaison and management, creative strategies, brand positioning, presentations, new business. Activities in Press, TV, Cinema, Posters, radio. 1979 - 1983 McCann Erickson, London: Art Director - Triumph Motorcycles, Futura Books, Pyrex, Ladbrokes. Client liaison, new business, art direction. Activities in Press, TV, Cinema, Posters, radio. 1983 - 1986 D’Arcy MacManus, Masius, London: Art Director - Ross Foods, BP Oil, McVities, British Rail. Client liaison, new business, art direction. Activities in Press, TV, Cinema, Posters, radio. 1986 - 1993 GGST Advertising, London: Executive Creative Director - Guernsey Tourist Board, Magic of Italy, Caravella Tours, Coto Donana, Kent Tourist Board, Eartwatch, Van Heusen, Best Western. Client liaison, creative strategies, new business, art direction, writing. Activities in Press, TV, Cinema, Posters, radio. 1993 - 1995 McCann Erickson, Lisbon: Executive Creative Director - Offley Port, Martini, Olá, Fima, General Motors, Yellow Pages. Trickle-Up. Client liaison, new business, art direction, team management. Activities in Press, TV, Cinema, Posters, radio. 1996 Executive Director, British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce specialising in corporate communication. Exhibitions and web 1984 Visions Gallery, London 1985 Aspects Gallery, London Collet Dickson Pearce Gallery, London 1996 Member of Association of Photographers, London 1987 Richmond Gallery, Windsor 1989 Mayfair Gallery, London 1994 and 1995 Galeria 12a, Lisbon 1996 Expoarte96, Lisbon 1998 Galeria Potthoff, Lisbon 2001 Own website at www.mels-images.biz St Julian’s, Carcavelos, Portugal 2002 Represented by Britart/ Eyestorm, London and New York 2004 Docklands Development East, London 2004 Galeria S.Rita, Sintra, Portugal 2005 Paintography Blogsite at www.paintography.blogspot.com 2005 CAD05, Cidadela de Cascais, Portugal 2005 Photography Workshops, StJulian‘s, Portugal 2006 Saatchi-Gallery on-line at www.saatchi-gallery.com 2007 Black and white images Blogspot at www.melsbwportfolio.blogspot.com 2007 Eyestorm Gallery, Exeter: “Retro” limited edition, boxed portfolio of 21 A3+, black and white images, signed and numbered. Also on exhibit “Train,” “Traffic,” “Station” and “Azenhas do Mar.” Sherborne Gallery, Sherborne: Open ’07 ‘Margins’ Exhibition - “Mud” installation of 42 images. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton: Evolver Magazine Competition finalist – “Pool” 2008 Special Editions at http://mels-special-editions.blogspot.com Off The Wall Gallery, Alte, Portugal Black Swan Arts, Frome 2009 Launched Insideoutside Photography WOW, Wincanton Colour Gallery, Wincanton Portuguese Museum of Photography (CPF), Porto – launch and copy of book in library. 2010 Launched Takes Can Talk 2011 Launched Decorative Arts Exhibition: Curator and exhibitor of decorated furniture, installation and wallpaper. Exhibited as photographer at Web of Life Exhibition with ‘Studies of PenSelwood.’ Exhibited as painter, illustrator and sculptor in Open Studios/ Frome Festival 2012 Launched Hug The Planet websites for children at facebook and Flickr Frome Festival: Diva’s - Exhibition of PenSelwood and Portugal Through My Eyes portfolios. Co-launched limited edition boxed set of PenSelwood with poet Fletcher Brown. New blogsite www.peaceinthespiritofplace.blogspot.co.uk 1st trip to Iceland to create new portfolio and book. 2013- 2016 2nd, 3rd and 4th trips to Iceland, many trips to the Lake District, Cornwall, Sicily, Las Canarias, Spain, Portugal, Denmark,
2016 Exhibition at Silk Mill Gallery, Frome: Work included photography, Haiku poetry, art and installation. Professional Assignments 1972 -1976 Corporate and product photography Ford, Mazda, Leyland, Fiat (South Africa) 1986 Product photography – Soft and Gentle, Cape Town. 1992 Brochure for Caravela (TAP–Portugal Airlines) 1995-2002 Artists-Group (Portugal), various inc Mercedes and BMW Publication and Print 1984 Blitz, London 1985 Creative Review, London x double page spread 1994 and 1996 O Capital, Lisbon x double page spread 1996 DNA magazine, Lisbon, x2 double page spread 1999 Atlantis magazine 2007 The Western Muse Magazine x2
Art in Devon Black and White Photography Magazine Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation website Evolver Magazine Own Limited Editions Prints catalogue Algarve-website-directory.com Mels-special-editions.blogspot.com Algarveresident.com Publication of book “Portugal Through My Eyes” on Blurb.com Western Gazette Portuguese Museum of Photography (CPF) website Quercus website and newsletter (10,000 recipients). Book Arts September Newsletter (UK) SAI Magazine, Portugal/ France SIC TV Primetime Newsflash (Portugal) And.. WEBSITE PRESENCE: somethingaboutmel.blogspot.com; paintography.blogspot.com; facebook.com; fotocommunity.com; saatchi-gallery.co.uk; odysseyphotography.net; ionline.pt; blurb.com; genni.com; fcn.romanviii.co.uk; melsbwportfolio.blogspot.com; tvi.rtp.pt (5x primetime newsflash); aroucanet.com; mygroupx.com; portugalvirtual.pt; eaiou.visao.pt; quemousavence.blogspot.com; sic.sapo.pt; escolaprof.wordpress.com; eaiou.carfilia.com; farmacia.netfarm.pt; veternaria-actual.pt; indiscutivel.com; aeda.pt; 126.96.36.199 moodle; aeiou.exameinformatica.pt; local.detakes.com; sherbornehouse.org.uk; fromecreativenetwork.co.uk; portugalzone.com; aeiou.expresso.pt; destakes.com; globeofblogs.com; noticias.planetaportugal.com; destak.pt; regiaooeste.com/pt; fotoimagem.blogspot.com; diariodosacores.pt; costadacaparica.com.pt; cpf.pt; sic.sapo.pt; aeiou.caras.pt; http://www.unitedphotopress.com; somersetarts.com; tweetmeme.com; newstin.com; aluzclara.blogspot.com; thinkartmakeart.com; shots.net; Portugalmania (Germany): http://www.portugalmania.de/2009/10/zerbrechliche-schonheit-zwei-ausergewohnliche-fotoserien-zeigen-ein-portugal-zwischen-den-zeiten/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ifotog/galleries/72157622337567111 Bing.com; Yahoo.com; Google.com
Listed on 12 pages of Google. Limited Edition Prints of “Cliffs”: News release on Quercus website, melsbwportfolio blogsite, Blurb website, Facebook , Twitter and LinkdIn ‘Lists’ Book review and Limited Edition print press release and ¼ page ad in December issue Muse Magazine2009 Book review March issue Black and White Photography Magazine Portfolio listed in Professional Photographers Magazine on-line library Opened new business TakesCanTalk. Mel Sewell Photography on Facebook Listed on www.fromecreativenetwork.com 2012 Ad in Black and White Photography magazine. Blurb website has now achieved 4,400 book hits (entire book, not per page). New blogsite at www.peaceinthespiritofplace.blogspot.com Launched Hug The Planet websites for children at facebook and Flickr. 2013 Ad in Black and White Photography magazine promoting photography workshops in the UK, Portugal, Iceland and Morocco.
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS 'Portugal Through My Eyes' Portuguese Museum of Photography, Porto, Portugal Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal Bodleian Library Oxford University, National Library of Scotland, Cambridge University Library, National Library of Wales, Trinity College Dublin AWARDS AND COLLECTIONS 1997 Sierra Club, honourable mention 1998 Volto ao Mundo magazine, Portugal: Honourable mention x 2, Best black and white landscape, Best finalist. There are over 120 collectors of my work, worldwide. (List available on request) ECO CREDENTIALS The first 18 years of my life living in Africa, mostly in the ‘bush’ miles from any signs of civilisation. Studies made at school of African tribal tracks in Zimbabwe. Worked with and on an African media consortium promoting rights of ‘Africans in their environment’ in South Africa. In my own advertising agency in London worked on the advertising of and promotion of Coto Donana – nature reserve in Spain. Won the business account of Earthwatch based on a proposal to tell the story of Dolphins, which ‘completely turned around the profile of Earth watch’. (client’s words, not mine). Spent 23 years as a landscape photographer, with 5 awards from an international magazine and another from the Sierra Club in the USA, as well as articles in 4 publications, including one of 4 pages about my landscape photography. Produced a book of landscape photography which appeared in 35 international media, including prime time Portuguese TV. A copy of this book is in the library of the Museum of Photography in Portugal. At the same time promoted by Quercus the prime Portuguese environment agency. This book is promoted on the Blurb website and has to date received 4,400 hits – that is not page hits, it is entire book hits. So multiply 4,400×120 pages, that means 528,000 total, global opportunities to see. Helped rural communities in Portugal realise their ambitions in beekeeping through Trickle-Up (USA). Worked for 5 years with Artists International to promote the scenery of Portugal to British, German, French and Italian companies. Leading member of Lisbon Hash House Harriers – family walking in countryside every 2 weeks. My photographic work has over 110 worldwide collectors. Worked as a wwoofer on eco-hostel. Involved with Web of Life production. Approx 120 notices on 12 pages of Google promoting my landscape photography. Editorial in Black and White Photography magazine lauding my book of photography of Portugal. Launched Hug The Planet to involve children photographing nature and thus deepening and encouraging their experience, with website on face book and agreement approved by Flickr to partner their facilities. Exhibition of environmental photographic work with up and coming eco- poet Fletcher Brown. Ongoing mail shot to world’s top 230 photographic collectors of my landscape photography. Work my own garden patch including herbs, raspberry, potatoes and kale. Use own composter. New strategy change to develop photography workshops in the UK environment. Ad to run in Feb 2013 issue of Black and White Photography magazine. Avid cyclist since childhood. And that’s to say nothing of the dozens of exhibitions I have held – all promoting a better understanding and love for the environment. Currently subscribe to Positive News and Resurgence magazine. Recent reading includes: Companion Planting by Gertrud Franck, The Art of Happiness by HH Dalai Lama, Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle by Richard Louv, 2012 The Year of the Mayan Prophecy by Daniel Pinchbeck, Prehistoric Avebury by Aubrey Burl and The Work That Reconnects by Joanna Macy. Support: Woodland Trust and Greenpeace. Religion: Buddhist My library and database of 17,000 images approaches a scientific study.
Mel Sewell (Christened Melvyn Anthony Sewell) was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire on the 10th of March 1945. His mother, Joyce Sewell (nee Austin) was in the WRAF and his father, Tony Sewell was a Spitfire pilot with the RAF and at the time reported as ‘MissinG
in action’ over Nazi occupied Holland.
In 1948 his father was seconded to the Royal Rhodesian Air Force, in Gwelo and this began Mel’s love affair with Africa and hot, sunny climates. Their first home on the Selukwe Road was very isolated and had the bare essentials, with no hot water and no electricity.
But there were compensations with abundant wildlife taking regular walks through their property including Lion, Impala, Hyena, Waterbuck, Nyala, Kudu, Ostrich, Giant Tortoise, Green Mamba, Gekko and a myriad of bright, colourful birds, such as Weaver, Bokmakierie, Ibis, Hoopoes, and Sunbirds. By night, the air was alive with the flight and sound of bats and insects and Mel came to know and appreciate spectacular scenery such as Victoria Falls.
Mel attended the Cecil John Rhodes School in Gwelo. Tony was an avid amateur photographer and kept detailed albums of their life there. Mel believes that it was this that set him off on the path of being interested in photography.
Later, in 1957 the family moved to Salisbury from where where Mel came to know spectacular sights such as the 'Balancing Rocks' at Epworth Mission. He was enrolled at Allan Wilson Technical High School to undertake a technical education which was completed in 1963 with his ‘matriculation’. In the meantime, his father had encouraged him to apply to DeHavilland in Hertfordshire, England to undertake an engineering apprenticeship, which Mel was fortunate to gain. This eventually involved a six year ’sandwich’ course in which half of each year was spent at the company’s factory in Hatfield learning how to make and break aircraft and the other half at the University of Bedfordshire where he attained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Production Engineering. Mel eventually qualified as a mechanical and production engineer.
Sick of the dismal British climate Mel immediately departed for Johannesburg, South Africa where his parents had settled a few years beforehand. Mel then decided to pursue his instincts in the creative, rather than engineering field and found a position in the Johannesburg advertising agency Kluth and Odes, where he quickly learned the creative ropes and took these skills with him to Durban where he opened his own advertising agency, specialising in the retail motor trade. It was at this point that Mel’s interest in photography began to flourish with numerous campaigns utilising his photographic images including that for Ford, Mazda, Fiat, Jaguar, Austin and Triumph.
Mel travelled extensively around South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswanaland seeing spectacular landscapes and observing the multitude of cultures that survived side by side under the Apartheid policies of the Nationalist Party.
He then decided that he didn’t know enough about the big world of advertising and joined J. Walter Thompson, in Johannesburg as their youngest ever account director, on the British Leyland account. Mel was back again working on cars and steered the agency’s creative teams into new approaches for the entire range of vehicles, gaining a number of New York creative awards along the way. Throughout Mel worked very closely with top, local commercial photographers, watched, and learned as he went.
By 1980 Mel felt that he could no longer put up with the Apartheid policies and also that he couldn’t further his creative career there, so he moved back to London and within two weeks had gained himself a position as art director at Harrison McCann advertising agency. The next ten years Mel worked at Bates MSG, D’Arcy Macmanus Masius and GGST mostly in the role of creative director.
He also began to hold exhibitions of his own photographs, firstly experimental Polaroid, then colour prints and latterly black and white Platinum prints, which his then third wife, Marion Cairns expertly printed.
As a polo player at Ham Polo Club and latterly Knep Castle Polo Club, Mel constantly had his camera to hand and took many classical equestrian and player images. In 1989, he organised an international polo photographic exhibition at the Belgrave Gallery in London, with entrants from around the world, as well as a significant proportion of images from the archives of Horse and Hound. Sir John Mills opened the exhibition and Mel created an award for Best Contribution to Polo Photography, which he awarded to Mike Roberts.
The event that catapulted Mel into landscape photography occurred in 1992. One of Mel’s clients at GGST was the package holiday group Caravela - a division of TAP, Portugal Airlines. The client admitted that he couldn’t afford the artwork fees for the brochure the agency had been working on and as a deal agreed to take Mel to shoot some images in Brazil, in exchange for writing off some of the costs. While visiting Rio de Janeiro, Buzios and Angra dos Reis, Mel found his true vocation - a combination of travel and photography.
On the trip back to the UK, Mel had decided to stopover in Portugal to visit his cousin Deanne Castro de Nascimento, who took him around Sintra, Guincho, Cascais and Lisbon. It was late September and Mel became impressed with the scenery, the climate, the lifestyle and, more importantly the light - still good light even at that time of the year, whereas back in the UK he would be suffering the same exposure problems as would exist for most of the year.
Mel immediately decided that if he lived in Portugal his ratio of photographs to available shooting days would soar. Two months later Mel had returned to Lisbon and shown his creative director portfolio to half a dozen ad agencies and by the time he had returned home found a fax offering him the position of Creative Director at Grupo McCann - the country’s biggest advertising agency. This would provide much needed financial stability while Mel established his true love in photography.
Mel quickly realised that his trusty 35mm Canon and standard 500CM Hasselblad were not up to doing the job that he required - wide view, big negative and depth of field - and so began the search for a good, second-hand SWCM Hasselblad, which he found in the pages of a photographic magazine, from a shop in Brighton. After a hurried phone call, Mel secured the item and flew back to the UK to buy it. With the new piece of equipment in his hands he shot off a roll of filmed at the seafront at Brighton and with no light meter, other than ‘guestimate’ and no tripod. This was then developed and contact printed the same day - not only was Mel more than happy with the images, but to his amazement, they were all well exposed and without camera shake.
During the next two years, Mel spent every available minute exploring the Portuguese countryside and taking hundreds of photographs, almost exclusively in black and white, while holding a number of one-man exhibitions in and around Lisbon. One of these exhibitions was held at the Galeria Potthoff in Chiado and for this Mel persuaded the English printer Pete Trew to print all the images. Pete delivered some stunning prints mostly in selenium-toned black and white, with a few produced in tritone. At the opening night’s party a throng of 500 turned up to eat, drink, be merry and buy.
Mel also travelled to Spain, Morocco and Israel during this time and had also attracted attention from a number of sources: The prestigious Portuguese travel publication Volta ao Mundo lauded his work with four awards; the Portuguese Sunday magazine DNA published a full four pages of his images; and Eyestorm/ Britart, the world’s number one on-line gallery began to represent him.
Mel also gave his time to ‘Artists’ the film location company based in Cascais and spent several years being paid to hunt down obscure locations, which further added to his knowledge and database of the country.
The initial years in Lisbon were good for Mel. His exhibitions made money, but he still had to subsidise his income with freelance creative work. Towards the latter part of the millennium, he began to notice a slowdown in the country’s economy and spent many months contemplating his next move. Mel concluded that Portugal was a great place to photograph, but a bad place to sell and market his work and that; regretfully he would have to return to the UK.
Settling near his parents in Wincanton, Somerset in 2003 Mel set about the long hard slog of catalogue-ing his work and establishing a database of contacts. It was during this period that he met and struck up a good relationship Steve Ballard at Eyestorm Gallery in Exeter, who showed great interest in exhibiting some of Mel’s work.
Mel realised back in the 70's that being stuck in a dark room full of chemicals was not good for his health and since then had always sought competent printers to carry out this task for him. After contracting out his printing to a firm in Exeter and being disappointed with the results, Mel decided to take the plunge into the new world of digital printing and purchased his own printer, finally settling on an eight colour, Epson R2400, while concluding that Hahnemuehle Photo Rag paper was top quality (supplied by Silverprint in London).
Mel printed and produced a boxed, signed and numbered, limited edition of 21 black and white A3+ prints, which he felt was of very high quality - a view confirmed by Steve on delivery to the gallery. (Editing this historical account in 2012 Mel decided to add that the gallery owned by Steve Ballard, renamed Eyestorm Modern suddenly closed down in 2011, with Steve vanishing 'overnight' to France - no known address - and all of Mel's prints having vanished too).
Mel’s next coup was being invited to exhibit at the Sherborne House Open 07 art exhibition, which was given the theme ‘Margins’. The River Parret proved to be Mel’s inspiration for his entry. As he slowly observed and photographed the mud on the margins of the river, he realised that this would somehow be what he should use. Considering the size of the venue and the number of exhibitors Mel concluded that he would have to pull off a spectacle and eventually decided on dividing the image into 42 equal parts, then enlarging and printing each part to A3 and then mounting them all together - to become, once again a single image. The printing and construction finished up as almost three metres by two metres.
When Mel was holidaying in Portugal in September 2007, he had discovered the small, but very arty Off The Wall Galeria in the tiny, picturesque village of Alte, in the Algarve and struck up an agreement with Susan Searle, the gallery owner, to hold an exhibition there in 2008. This was duly organised and Mel was present for the opening on May 1st, 2008. Susan then created a blogsite for Off The Wall Galeria, which featured Mel’s work during the month of the exhibition.
During 2009 Mel began working on the design of a book of images of Portugal, having been prompted by a book created by Maria D'Oray Bilotti's deceased husband John's work. This had all been created by the new on-line production and marketing facility of Blurb. It took Mel the best part of a year to create the design and on the third proof announce its completion. Titled Portugal Through My Eyes/ Portugal Aos Meus Olhos (a billingual edition with the Portuguese text translated by his cousin Deanne Castro de Nascimento and her husband Carlos), the book, of coffee table dimension and quality was then launched at the Museum of Photography in Porto, with aclaim coming from 35 different areas of the media, including prime time TV. Later that year Mel also produced a pocket version. Meanwhile, on a roll, Mel produced a dummy print copy of portraits (still to see the light of day). These were productive days and Mel launched a set of limited edition prints through Quercus, the prime Portuguese environment agency. A copy of Portugal Through My Eyes was then reviewed favourably by the UK magazine Black and White Photography.
Also in 2009 Mel discovered Frome, Somerset and soon tapped into the creative resource known as Frome Creative Network - the highlight of which was their monthly 'Artist's Cafe' meetings. Soon Mel had made many artistic friends, so long missed in the cultural dessert of Wincanton.
For a while Mel concentrated on marketing his work through the internet, while creativity was satisfied with discovering local Somerset scenes, principally PenSelwood forest.
In 2010 Mel began working on the design of a new website for a limited selection of his images and new marketing opportunities.
In 2011 Mel spread his creative wings even further participating in 'The Web of Life' event held during the Frome Festival. Mel's creative work comprised 6 framed pieces of photographic images of PenSelwood exhibited at the Sun Street Studios, while he contributed his intentions to the 'Web of Life' parade by dressing as a bee. Mel was very active during this festival, also sharing the Stoney St Studios and exhibiting paintings, drawings and sculptures.
Later that year, in December, Mel curated an exhibition for 32 artists at the Rook Lane Gallery, Frome entitled 'Frome Decorative Arts Exhibition'. Mel also exhibited three pieces of decorated furniture, an installation piece and wallpaper.
Thanks to inspiration Mel had gained from Lisbet Michelsen about ecopsychology, Mel also launched Hug The Planet websites on facebook and Flickr, which would enable children to upload images they had made, or taken of nature.
Mel made contact with the CPC of St John's with respect to the Bennett Centre and its availability as a hired venue. Mel then became aware that a number of Frome artists would have liked to exhibit during the 'Open Studios' during the Frome Festival, but had nowhere to exhibit. Mel then connected the Bennett Centre and 8 artists to share the space.
At the begining of 2012 Mel decided he was exhausted and would not exhibit further in 2012, but opportunities arise and they have to be taken advantage of: Mel was offered a fantastic opportunity to exhibit his work at Diva's, Frome slap bang in the middle of the Frome Festival. For this show Mel decided to exhibit six framed images of PenSelwood, as well as the newly created limited boxed set of images, together with the poet Fletcher Brown's inclusion of work specially created for the images of PenSelwood. In addition images from the book Portugal Through My Eyes, the book itself and additional images of England were included. Mel also included over 40 black and white prints from various countries at affordable prices.
During this early part of 2012 Mel also took advantage of advertising the limited edition boxed set (the box beatufully crafted in black nubuck by Rosy at Black Cat Bindery) in Black and White Photography magazine.
Also at this point Mel reviewed the progress that Portugal Through My Eyes was having on the Blurb website to be delighted with the information that it had received 4,400 hits since launch - that wasn't just page hits, but whole book hits.
Published a number of books, see Mel Sewell or Sigvaldi Sewell on Blurb website. Also published 6 editions of Ed, a publication devoted to photography and poetry.
In 2018 moved to the Víking stronghold of South Yorkshire to attend a BA Hons degree in Fine art at the Institute of Arts, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield.
Changed name by deed poll in 2018 to Sigvaldi Friðarsonur