What Happened Here

Using expired photographic film to document a derelict site in Frome, Somerset.

For this project I chose to use expired photographic film to tell the story of one urban brownfield site, known locally as Saxonvale. It could have been anywhere in the country since the story is repeated across many sites like this one.

With housing, homelessness and the environment all being huge issues of our time, this project encapsulates the tensions between landowners’ ambitions to capitalise on their assets, even as people cry out for space to build homes. Playing piggy-in-the-middle, the environment suffers either way as people fly-tip any available space until the developers move in and remove great swathes of nature in order to satisfy housing demand.

There are no easy answers, but more thought needs to be given to how we address these conflicting issues.

The images in this gallery represent just a small proportion of the overall project, which started in 2017 and built up over two years. A selection of the images went on to become an exhibition, sponsored by Mendip District Council, on some of the Saxonvale site hoardings after the site was acquired and secured by MDC in 2018. You can see the story of the exhibition at the end of the gallery.

Some of the photos are available to purchase as fine art prints and canvasses for your home or office wall at takeagander.co.uk. Alternatively, contact me if this project sparks an idea you would like to develop further.