Photographically speaking, this latest lockdown has been pretty tough. Commissions and personal projects alike have taken a hit, but there are glimmers of hope on both fronts. This post is about the personal work.
An Alternative Plan.
As a result of the travel ban I’ve been unable to continue with the Salisbury Plain project, but that hasn’t stopped me making new work.
It’s definitely slowed me down because I’m having to learn a new landscape; the one nearer to home.
I could have chosen to ignore landscapes for now, but it’s an area I need to keep working on and improving so I don’t get rusty. When I do return to Salisbury Plain, I need to make sure I’m on my game.
Closer To Home.
I’m describing Closer To Home as an interim project. I nearly called it Treading Water, because that’s what it feels like. I’m treading water while I wait for lockdown to lift, and I’m often literally treading water as I hike through rain-soaked fields. But Closer to Home describes my (temporary) withdrawal from the Salisbury Plain project to concentrate on more local landscapes.
What I really wanted to find out was whether I could transfer the Salisbury Plain approach to another landscape. To an extent I can, but there’s a definite shift in tone when there’s no military layer to the project. Because the local landscape is quieter, I need to reflect this.
What both types of landscape have in common is something I’ve always felt about the English countryside, that it isn’t as benign as we’d like to think it is.
Our countryside is industrialised, it is someone else’s business. It’s also constantly under threat from poor management, fly-tippers and development, which makes its existence more precarious and precious.
Whether I can express these themes through my images is down to me to keep working at them, which is why I haven’t let lockdown stop me.
So far I haven’t offered these images as fine art prints, but drop me a line if you’re interested. You can see many more on my Instagram account.