New project in progress- Wasted

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Brighton Wasted

I walk along the shoreline which offers up objects both natural and man-made, and I pair them up according to shape or what works for my vision. These pairings as yet are not final, and examples are shown above.

Environmentally, humans plague the seas with our excess, and for Brighton on a visual level this means that the eye is more often caught by the bright artificial colours of plastics than it is by a shell. I want to show the myriad of man-made items found on the beach- from the banal to the mysterious.

I work in black and white to remove the colours which distract from the ugliness and in many cases, hard edges of the man made items. Time in the sea usually produces beauty as edges of bones, stones, vegetation, are smoothed into curves, unlike the plastics which refuse to yield and are relentless examples of our dependence on oil-based products. The contrast and similarities of the pairings reflect their place or dis-place in the environment.

I use a scanner for two reasons- it produces an intense photographic image without a camera, and is a different and artistically satisfying method of image production. The process for me places emphasis on the selection of the object rather than application of technique. Secondly, I like the way the process produces both fine detail and pixellation, a juxtaposition that reflects the spirit of the project- what is and what should not be. The object is seemingly suspended, without context, and offers stillness, contemplation.

On a broader level, my concern about how man impacts the world at the expense of other species runs through this work. So far, Brighton beach has provided very few examples of blatant impact on the environment, the main one shown is of a fish found with the line still in its mouth- wasted. I feel it is poignant to pair this with a discarded pregnancy test stick.

It is saddening to see the extent of small plastic waste on the beach, the disrespect it implies. It is more subtle, more dangerous in that it grows familiar, unnoticed. We know however, that there are heartbreaking examples of the damage and danger by our debris in the ocean- from an ‘island’ of plastic waste found in the Pacific, miles in size

to turtles nearly cut in half by 6-pack plastic yokes encircling them as they grow   

to animals mistaking pollution for food



Windows of the soul…

Thinking about my childhood that this scene is reminiscent of- red, grey, brown, green; concrete, bricks, boxes and layers, and especially net curtains. For me, providing a cloak over internal angst, whilst softening the external.

on portraits that give back…

For many years I have sought ways to develop a photography project with rough sleeping/homeless people. I have worked in the homeless sector for over 20 years, and this experience as well as personal experience, informs my opinion. My main concern is that photographers deliver a project that they then reap the kudos for, and I am not usually clear what they have left behind for those they have documented or portrayed. If there is a legacy, and perhaps I am being unfair in assuming the lack of one, it is not clear. The usual sentiment is that the experience of producing such work leaves the photographer enriched, understanding how lucky they are, how they appreciate small things more, they feel better people and so on. But what did they leave behind?

During Brighton Photo Fringe/Brighton Photo Biennial I attended a talk by Anthony Luvera, who seemed to articulate this concern and who is working in a way that prioritises a practice that gives back to those participating in work with him. Here is a link to some of his work and approach:

and of course, Photovoice, a charity that promotes and empowers participative projects globally: