Revisiting a plot of unmanaged land in the Midlands town where I grew up, DIRFT is an attempt to reconcile memory, visual impressions, and the relationship between land and personal mythologies.
On the peripheries of the urban, yet not quite rural, edges of the English landscape such as these have been described as ‘places of possibility, mystery and beauty’.* I frequented such spaces in my youth, where land is unremarkable, wild, overlooked, and messy (in a literal sense).
DIRFT is an attempt to recall these formative spaces encountered in youth. The work seeks to piece together the visual impressions that impact on one’s psychological attachment to place – the physical, sensorial aspects of environment – and the contradictions within such spaces – both familiar and strange; protective and hazardous in their secrecy; freeing and enclosed; unseen and visible. I’m interested in the relationships between place and possibility, between sight and story, between photograph, narrative, and memory.
* Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, Edgelands (Vintage Press: 2012).