Saxmundham: Festival picture wins top award

SEVERAL years ago artist and photographer Rob Marrison lost interest in life behind the lens and decided to swap his camera for an easel and brush.

He concentrated on creating dark and dramatic paintings inspired by Suffolk’s landscapes and large skies – exhibiting with much success across the country.

But a recent return to his first love – he studied photography at college and was a professional photographer in his early years –has led to even more recognition.

The 45-year-old, from Saxmundham, who has also been a pub landlord and prison officer, has landed a top music photography prize.

His snap of a reveller watching the Crystal Castles set at this year’s Latitude Festival, near Southwold, has won the Reportage category in NME magazine’s 2010 Music Photography Awards.

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Mr Marrison said he would like to find the person in the winning photo, who is wearing a monkey hat.

“It would be great to know who he is,” he said. “I lost interest in photography a few years ago and decided to concentrate on my paintings.

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“However, I recently dipped back into it and it’s something I’m hoping I can now develop further.

“It was a pleasant surprise to have been chosen and the feedback I’ve received has been very positive.

“I’ve always had a strong interest in music and now it’s a case of hopefully combining the two.”

The competition was judged by world-famous music photographers Pennie Smith and Jill Furmanovsky together with NME editor Krissi Murison.

The work is on show at the British Music Experience in London’s O2 Dome until the end of November and will then be permanently displayed in the backstage area of the O2 Arena as well as being published in the current issue of NME.

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