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A snapshot recollection of John Donat

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Robert Elwall's fine tribute to John Donat (AJ 26.8.04) reminded me of an experience back in the mid-1970s when I was at Shepheard Epstein & Hunter, whose work he was often commissioned to photograph, as his sensibilities matched its values ideally. I remember taking John down to photograph a housing job we had completed in Bellingham, where in over a year of site visits I could not recall having seen a single living soul. Within moments of John getting out his camera, people began to appear out of thin air. It was quite inexplicable. It seemed as though the warmth of his personality drew out the latent humanity of the environment.

Anyway, his picture of a girl walking her dog (above) is how I still remember that project 30 years later.

John Allan, Avanti Architects

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