A series of photographic collages addressing the Brexit debate. Using my own photographs of the horizon looking out to sea near my home in west Cornwall I have collaged images taken from my collection of First World War postcards sent to and from the frontline. The cards are from all sides of the conflict – British, French, German, Italian – and the messages reflect universal concerns and longing to be reunited with loved ones – by turns banal, tender or bizarre. I have replaced the patriotic captions of the time with the slogans and headlines from the media surrounding both sides of the Brexit debate. The view looking out to sea emphasises the idea of broadening horizons and extracts from the messages in English, French, German and Italian underline our shared concerns and humanity, in opposition to the divisive nature of the Leave campaign dialogue. The title of the series should leave the viewer in no doubt on which side of the divide I stand!
Digital collage of scanned vintage postcards and digital photographs. Image size 10 x 15.5 cm. Printed on archival matte Innova cotton rag.
Having a Whale of a Time
Sending a postcard has been a ritual of the British seaside holiday since Victorian times but the convention is now sadly in decline as people share their pictures and experiences directly on social media or send a text to announce their safe arrival.
Using my collection of vintage postcards of St Ives and photographs of the same locations taken with my plastic Holga film camera, I have created collages of the old and the new. The postcard messages – some dating back to the early 1900s – are reassuringly familiar, largely featuring comments about the weather, scenery and having a lovely time!
Digital collage of scanned old postcards and medium format Holga negatives. Image size 10 x 10 cm printed on archival matte Innova cotton rag.
Also available as a handmade artist book – see books page.
Memories of early childhood days are sporadic and hard to pin down. By revisiting my childhood homes and the places featured in family photographs I had hoped my memories would suddenly come flooding back. They proved to be maddeningly elusive. The photographs have become the memories, imprinted on my brain with repeated looking and the retelling of family stories. The memories themselves are locked away like photographs stuffed in a dusty old drawer and forgotten.
Digital collage of scanned family photographs and medium format Holga negatives. Image size 10 x 10 cm printed on archival matte Innova cotton rag.
Holga Goes Back
As an adult, seeing the world through a child’s eye is difficult. These images of my old childhood haunts, taken with my little plastic Holga camera with its blurry and brightly coloured eye, recreate the dreamlike and slightly disconnected feeling I experienced on returning after all these years.
Safe From Harm
“A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory….everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die.” *
Looking back at the lost world of the family album. Digital collage of scanned family photographs.
*Vladimir Nabokov, Speak Memory
An Accumulation of Days
An accumulation of days: happy days, sad days, quiet moments at home, the unspectacular everyday, the fleeting nuances easily overlooked. Objects are transformed by a shaft of light, views from the window change with the weather, seasonal rituals are repeated yearly. And all the while the days accumulate, time passes…...
My relationship with my home and the landscape surrounding it is complicated and ambivalent. Bound up with memories of family who once lived here and who have now left home or died, there are many associations, both happy and sad.
Continuing on from a previous series The Room, six years later these photographs depict some of the same objects out in the landscape throughout the changing seasons. They are an attempt at making a mark, leaving a trace – a fugitive memorial.
In the Midst of Life
“In the midst of life we are in death” – the familiar words from the Book of Common Prayer recited at a Christian funeral service remind us of our own mortality. As far as we know, we are the only species which goes through life with the foreknowledge of its own death and the memorial satisfies a basic, universal human need which cuts across all faiths and beliefs – a need to leave a mark as proof of our existence.
What remains when someone dies? The space they inhabited with their hopes and dreams, the view from their window, their clothes and possessions, the play of light and shadow as the days pass, and precious memories….
An open window, the remains of a meal, shoes kicked off in a hurry – these are the traces that people leave behind them as they go about their day. But the traces they leave behind as they pass through your life are not so visible ….