Kathryn Holeywell

Photography, Writer & Content Creator

Photo is by my lovely friend  Louise Boyer .

Photo is by my lovely friend Louise Boyer.

Originally from Texas, I moved to the UK in 2002 for a six month study abroad programme. I instantly fell in love with my adopted country, and 17 years later I’m still here! I try to express my love of London and the UK in my photography - I hope it shines through.

When I first came to England it was as a student at the University of East Anglia in Norwich: a charming, historic city which, at that time, was still isolated in the wild and windy Norfolk countryside.

After completing a BA and MA in English literature, I worked for several years on my doctorate. It was an intensive period of study: long days in libraries and literary archives, both here and back in America. At the same time I was creating and teaching undergraduate courses, publishing, and running academic conferences - exhausting!

Before I could complete my PhD, I was diagnosed with an incurable, chronic illness. It's not contagious, but it impacts me every minute of every day. Ultimately my health deteriorated so much that I moved to London where I can receive specialised medical treatment.

I fell in love with London - which I had somehow overlooked during my time in the ivory tower! For five years I’ve wandered London taking photographs and (more recently) researching and writing blog posts. At the same time I’ve become real-life friends with the creative, inspiring women I first connected with on Instagram: artists, writers and other photographers - to name just a few.

I'm often asked how I'm able to remain spirited in the face of a painful and troublesome disease. Some of it is that there is no other option. But I also believe photography and writing have kept me searching for - and discovering - the dreamy, whimsical scenes waiting to be captured in this city.

Wander For A While started out as the name of my Instagram account. In late 2014, shortly after I moved to London, I began taking classes and attending workshops in photography and visual social media. I remember trying to describe (to myself!) what I was doing at the time, and Wander For A While was born.

At first, I was photographing London - all of it. But over time I realised I was drawn to dreamy, pastel, glowing London. Fairytale London. Floral London. I’m inspired by our city’s flower shops, gardens, parks and the stunning floral installations that now appear on stores and restaurants with delightful regularity. I love this imagined, idealised wonderland.

I want to capture a magical version of London where archways constructed of blossoms pop up overnight; magnolia, cherry blossom, lilac and wisteria appear each Spring; and whole neighbourhoods exist of candy-coloured terraced houses.

I’ve had to navigate a disabling disease for my all of my 30’s - the last ten years. Amidst pain and profound disappointment (or perhaps in reaction to it), I created a version of London which brings me joy and hope.