About John Law

How do you summarise your life into a few words? Age means that you have clarity of memory about events long ago and less or nil recall about recent events.

john law

At the age of 5, during my first week at school, I was so pleased with my artwork that I brought the paint water, used to mix the colours and clean the brushes, home with me. Of course it spoiled my school bag – but it showed my early enthusiasm for art. Art, mathematics and science came easily to me but english was by weakness. I repeatedly took and failed my english, which I needed to get to university. On the 9th attempt I passed – only to be told that the university regulations had changed and a qualification in english was no longer required!

I read computing at university, using huge machines the size of a small house. We students were allowed 2 minutes per week of CPU processing time each – highly frustrating! It soon became clear that mathematics and statistics offered a better career path, not least due to a pretty young girl on that course to whom I have been married these past 37 years.

john and friends

Postgraduate studies followed, partly due to the economic situation in the early 1970s, and then my first job at an agricultural research institute in Cambridge. The staff were not sure I would last long, but 35 varied and interesting years later, which involved computing, statistics, teaching and latterly research – including writing a doctoral book of 110,000 words (not bad for a poor english student) and languages learnt at the ripe age of 50, it was time to re-address the work-life balance.

I'd continued my interest in art in various strange ways – particularly in collage and craft – and taken holiday snaps but it wasn't until the age of 30 that I came to formal photography. I joined my first camera club in 1980, and the Royal Photographic Society shortly afterwards, gaining a fellowship in 1990. I have a passion for the people of the small, but very poor country of Moldova in particular and eastern-Europe in general. And so CEEM Ltd – Central and Eastern European Ministries – was born. It has been a privilege to help and serve these gracious people for many years. They teach us far more than we can ever teach them.

When asked why I chose science over art when I have talent in both, my reply has always been the same: "Science paid the bills... art was my hobby... but a time will come when these roles will be reversed. Art has just been postponed!" And now that moment has come…!




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