A TATE Gallery-featured photographer has returned home to showcase a new exhibit of his work.

Andy Dunkley, originally from Oakwell, has had a vibrant career which has taken him all over the nation developing his own unique style.

Studying photography at Barnsley Arts College, before moving onto Hull University, the Barnsley native got into professional photography in an usual way.

He told the Chronicle: “We had a technician in Hull who’d settled back there after a really fascinating career that he’d started in the air force.

“I didn’t fancy going into the commercial or advertising world, the more I saw of it the less I liked the look of it.

“So he said that if you can stand the discipline and the initial running up and down bit which you have to do, then join the Royal Air Force, because they’ve got a brilliant school of photography.”

While not a part of the RAF many would consider, this work allowed Andy to get involved in countless interesting opportunities, including difficult ‘air-to-air’ photography.

“I suppose if you do think of military photography you think of reconnaissance,” he added.

“Photographing the ground from air, but my trade was called ‘photography brackets ground’.

“You kind of did everything else, so everything from press photography to stuff like air to air which is photographing aeroplanes from aeroplanes basically.

“That was one of the more glamorous bits where you got to fly in the planes to make pretty publicity shots.”

Once stepping back from his high-flying career in the air force, Andy decided to start pursuing his other passions, which mainly involved the bigger museums and galleries in London.

“I wanted to be back involved with the arts, and so as my contract ended I decided to spend time in museums.

“I started off at my favourite, the Tate, and got on with the people there brilliantly.

“I’d spent about a week with them, and at the end of that the boss announced he was retiring, leaving a slot at the bottom.

“So I just stepped out of one and into the other, very quickly and very smoothly - it just seemed to fall in place.”

His illustrious career has made him a celebrated photographer and now with all this experience behind him he has returned home to exhibit his impressive portfolio.

Starting tomorrow at Cannon Hall, locals will have the opportunity to see a variety of pieces from throughout his career.

“These are images I’ve chosen because I like them and I feel that they’re strong - it’s just for people to see and enjoy.

“I still do some work for Barnsley Museums mainly, and other bits and pieces, but always with arts and always museums still.

“They’re my people really, we’ve got a lot in common

“So now it’s that and walking the dog, it’s a much more leisurely lifestyle than London and there’s lovely countryside to get into in no time.”