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Coronet Inside Out: Oliver Curtis


Photographer Oliver Curtis has shared a short film about his collection Volte-Face, featuring narration from author Geoff Dyer, reading from his essay About-Face, and music from electronic musician & producer haihm.


by Oliver Curtis.
Narration by Geoff Dyer
Music by haihm


In 2012, Oliver Curtis started to turn his back on monuments. For the next four years he took photographs looking away from many of the world’s most visited – and therefore most photographed – monuments and tourist sites. After four years he had amassed over 45 images from around the world. The collection entitled Volte-Face was first exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in London in 2016. A book of the project is published by Dewi Lewis Publishing. He lives in London and is hoping to stay home more.

Geoff Dyer’s most recent books are Broadsword Calling Danny Boy – about the film Where Eagles Dare – and The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand. A selection of his writing on photography from the last ten years will be published by Canongate in May 2021.


Click here to see the other work available to watch for free on Coronet Inside Out.


Oliver Curtis

Brought up in the Cotswolds, Oliver Curtis began his photographic education studying photography at the renowned course at Filton Technical College in Bristol. He went on to study film and television at the London College of Printing. The first few years post-college were spent learning his craft in documentaries, music videos and short films for the Arts Council of Great Britain and the BFI. It was for the latter that he lensed his first feature Madagascar Skin, directed by Chris Newby. Other features soon followed along with high profile television work including the acclaimed BBC TV series Vanity Fair directed by Marc Munden, for which he was BAFTA nominated. He also directed numerous documentaries for Channel Four and BBC TV on such diverse subjects as Leon Trotsky and film director Gillo Pontecorvo, and has had programme related articles published in The Observer and The Listener magazines.

In 1996, Oliver became the youngest cinematographer ever to be invited to join the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC). He continues to plough a distinctly idiosyncratic path as Director of Photography on feature films as diverse as Clare Kilner’s The Wedding Date, Frank Oz’s Death at a Funeral and Joanna Hogg’s Unrelated, as well as experimental gallery-based installations such as Gideon Koppel’s Borth. He remains in great demand worldwide shooting for commercials for high profile clients such as Pantene, L’Oreal, Rimmel, Coca Cola, Sony and Guinness. In conjunction with his work as a cinematographer, Oliver continues to produce stills photographic work for major broadcasters as well as generating his own projects for exhibition and publication. His first solo exhibition Volte-Face premiered at London’s Royal Geographical Society in Sept 2016. A book of the project is published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.