About and Contact

This site is my portfolio, where I put a small sample of things I have made, projects I have worked on and things I am able and willing to share. There's a special place for "essays", collections of images that I want to tell a story, or explore an emotional or conceptual theme. I hve found that my photography, digital art and printing tends to gravitate towards that form quite often.

Everything on this site is created, edited, written and developed by me except the site itself, which I produced with the help of the excellent open source software publii, using one of the free themes (portfolio) that it provides.

I've been a creative all my working life, as part of my work in education. People often do not realise just how creative a teacher and school-leader's role can be. It is what attracted me and kept me in what was often challenging work. Teachers tend to have a reputation as being unimaginative, uncreative, deeply traditional and limited, perhaps because they sometimes have the unenviable task of asking young people to think about and do things they really do not want to do, when they don't want to do it. A few teachers probably deserve those descriptions, but in my experience, most do not. A great lesson, or a great school, is constructed from a few simple ingredients but becomes much more than the sum of its parts. It does not happen by accident and I do not think it can simply be copied or delivered according to a standard plan, desite the best efforts of the politicians and administrators who control it at present. 

Like any form of creative work, you are grounded in some content which has to be presented and communicated, but a vital part of any place or time of learning is creating the conditions, emotionally, socially and even practically, in which learners will be receptive and responsive to new material, and be able to apply their own experiences and understanding in order to deal with it. It's finding ways to help people connect with the content, and you need to employ a wide range of strategies for that to be effective. The end purpose is not the same as drama, music, literature or fine art, but the complexity of teaching means that there are shared approachs and skills. Visuals, sound, text and movement are all vital, with some created in the course of a lesson or presentation and others created to be shared as documents, posters, displays, video and so on.

I was in the right place and time to be a pioneer of using IT in education, literally adapting new technologies (including with soldering irons!) and seeking to exploit them for more effective learning. That's still a work in progress, but the digital tools we take for granted on the web, for communication, social and people-created media, for writing, number work and for all kinds of visual and sound material owe a great deal to teachers who were determined to take IT out of the office and help students use it to create things and to the students who played and adapted these powerful tools when they were allowed to use or even play with them.

I was also fortunate to work in environments where people were willing to use their skills to serve the wider community. Two of the schools where I worked extended their own design and printing services to the wider community and I was heavily involved in applying DTP and design software, as well as digital photography and imaging, to that work. I have fond memories of version 1 of Pagemaker and one of the very first desktop postscript printers. Although I am not a graphic designer, I have produced too many print publications to remember: from newsletters and leaflets to complete books.

I am retired now, but still active and busy. If, by any chance, you would like to use my work, or expertise, please send an email my way:  chris at chriscurtis dot co dot uk (with the usual address format - I've spelt it out phentically in the vain hope that it might slightly slow down the spam robots)