I’ve realised that it has been almost a year since I have been out with any camera other than the one on my phone.
It has also been a while, almost six months, since I seriously worked on any of my projects.
There have been personal reasons for this but I feel that I’m now on the other side of the worst of these problems and I’m now able to invest time back into my art/photography and other projects.
I’ve started having ideas for new projects whilst having thoughts of improving/advancing existing projects.
With this in mind I’m going to work through my image archive with a far more critical eye than previously, if an image doesn’t fit an idea either aesthetically of lyrically it will be archived on another storage device for future though/use (unless it is a complete bag of then it’s binned).
Projects I’m working on at the moment are:
Prayers of Steel
A collection of found photographs of The Angel of the North, with the words of the original posts on various social media sites included.
These are then transformed into various objects to showcase the position that the statue has gained in the psychogeography of the North of England.
In 2018 it is the 20th anniversary of the sculptures completion and I will be producing a book of these images to coincide with that anniversary.
This is a working title at the moment, the images are images of hot house plants in various botanical gardens in the temperate North struggling to escape their confinement with no consequence to their ultimate demise if they left that protected area.
Again another working title, looking at desire lines/paths in urban and rural areas, made by humans and animals.
Drowning not waving
Amazing how many working titles I have at the moment, this series of images are of found gloves related to the fishing industry.
Desire lines, desire paths, desire, ease of movement, natural access.
Paths that are developed by natural usage, often following natural geographical features such as streams, contours and direct routes rather than the route dictated by concrete and governance.
A desire path (formally referred to as desire line in transportation planning, also known as a game trail, social trail, herd path, cow path, goat track, pig trail or bootleg trail) can be a path created as a consequence of erosion caused by human or animal foot-fall or traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. Width and erosion severity can be indicators of how much traffic a path receives. Desire paths emerge as shortcuts where constructed ways take a circuitous route, have gaps, or are non-existent.
That is what is being asked by The Northerner Blog in the Guardian today. They are asking for contributors to post an image that captures the essence of the North.
Whose North? There is always the chocolate box image of Dales and Moors, unbroken wilderness, apart from James Herriot careening across them in his old car. Hills and lakes, unspoilt beaches and little stone villages shimmering in the sunset.
There is the Christian North, the North of Cathedrals, Saints and Holy Islands. Pilgrimages across the land, fleeing from Viking pillagers, writing works of illuminated art and deciding the way forward for the catholic church.
Or there is the smashed North, the North of Thatcher’s cruelty and industrial decline. A once proud heritage of steel and chemical works, pit villages, ship building and union activity. The Jarrow marchers and Quaker sensibilities. The first locomotives and the crucible of Britain’s industrial revolution.
The North I know is an area where people live in great diversity and try to get on with their lives, but has time to commission some of the best public art in the country and has made a feature of regeneration through art projects such as The Sage, The Baltic, Temenos, Hepworth Gallery and The Angel of the North. This large scale development mixes well with the industrial heritage of the area and sits well, all of the above is the North I know and to try and distill an essence is not really needed, just celebrate it all, in images, words and imagination.