Moving onward

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.

‘Barriers’

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.

Desire

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 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.

    Edinburgh Castle

    Another note from my iPhone.

    I am in Edinburgh for the weekend working, this will be the first time I’ve been alone in Edinburgh for coming on 30 years.

    I did the tourist walk; along the West End, up Lothian Road, through the Meadows down South Bridges, the Royal Mile up to the Castle and then back to the hotel.

    Strange emotions, strange seeing the place again after so many years of popping up for family visits without really visiting the city.

    The walk gave me ideas for another series of photographs, but these are Edinburgh centric and will take a while to compose and collect.

    ‘Sins of the Father’ first two notes are places I saw my dad coming out of:

       
     
    the Western Bar has been there forever and doesn’t seem to have changed much, but the Bingo Hall used to be Edinburgh’s ‘adult’ cinema.

    This is a start and how much of this I go into is still to be decided.

    Escaping

    Went for a walk around Edinburgh Botanical Gardens today and was caught by how many plants were trying to press through the glass of the hothouses, I don’t think I’ve really noticed that before.

    It was cold and wet out, yet these hothouse plants didn’t want to be confined and wanted to grow as they would even though if they got out they would die.

    Essence of the North

    Curlew
    Curlew

    What is the “Essence of the North?”

    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.

    Townies
    Townies

    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.

    Book of Kells
    Book of Kells

    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.