My Fave Places: artist Rory Cargenie
Hmmm, you’ve reached an older feature - let’s get you up to date! Read our latest Art features here.
Rory Carnegie has just won a prestigious Association of Photographers Award for his portrait series ‘Port Meadow Dogs’. He lives with his wife and three children in central north Oxford, and his work can currently be seen at the Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Summertown. Here are his favourite places.
The Devil’s Quoit
his is an extraordinary reconstruction of a stone circle near Stanton Harcourt – it’s pretty unknown, and really rather spectacular. I do a lot of running and sometimes go there with a group archaeologists and anthropologists I know – it’s like a tutorial on the run!
I love Wytham Woods, just beyond Wolvercote in Oxford (look for The White Hart, and the road just beyond it leads straight there). They were bequeathed to Oxford to be used for scientific research but you can walk through them, and they’re staggeringly beautiful and untouched. I go there with my family, and photograph it quite a lot. There are incredible bluebells there at the right time of year.
Life via my bike
I’m quite an enthusiastic bicyclist so I cycle the Oxfordshire countryside most weekends, and each week we try to see something new and interesting. I often cycle directly from Oxford and go north but sometimes I bike to Marlow which is an incredibly beautiful route. I’ve also been known to get the train out to Kingham or cycle to Brill, or do big loop to Reading and back. One thing I don’t necessarily do is stop off at pubs and restaurants on the way though. I bike past them but never go inside!
I find Burgess Field very beautiful. The dog I have at the moment is Luna (a mix of Irish setter and retriever and lurcher) but before her I had Luca, a lovely lurcher who tragically died. The series of pictures that I won my recent award for (above) was inspired by Luca, chasing deer and playing up in the field.
Burgess Field is a sort of nature reserve off Port Meadow, but most people would probably just think it’s part of Port Meadow itself. This was the site of a dump in the Sixties, but it eventually became designated a nature reserve. A lot of the photos I’ve used in my work have been made in Burgess Field. My pictures are made up of a composite of 10 different images of the same place but from different types of angle and different types of the year. The dogs are photographed in the studio, and then I use software to put them together with multilayered images of Burgess Field.
La Cucina, St Clements
We’ve been going to this family restaurant for years. It has an open kitchen and is very lively and atmospheric. I take my wife and my children. One of my kids is at university now, and another is a very successful international rower with Leander pretty much full time, and the third is in sixth form but they all love to eat!
Zappi’s café, Oxford
Fashion passes me by but I love a good bike shop. I’ve just bought a new bike in Beeline, and I love Zappis which is part café, part bike shop and part bike club. My wife doesn’t bike with me, but she does spend a lot of time drinking flat whites in Zappi’s!
The History of Science Museum, Oxford.
I sometimes just pop along to this museum on Broad Street for some inspiration. It houses all these wonderful timekeeping contraptions, and lots of old historic scientific apparatus.