Ordinarily I come across photographers that use walking as a means of making work, so it was exciting to discover a series about those that actually make the paths where people walk. Scottish Path-builders is by Glasgow based photographer Robert Andrew Mercer, and documents the building of rural pathways in the scottish mountains.
I briefly got the chance to talk to Robert about his project….
“I have been working with these guys for around 5 years, I also help them to build the paths. I get to see and document them from an inside point of view, and they’ve accepted me as one of their own. We live in remote places as a team, and I photograph them during and after working hours. I’ve made a huge body of work with them, and it all revolves around the subject of making paths for people to walk safely – with a philosophy of protecting the fragile ecosystems of mountain country in Scotland. It’s been a difficult project in some respects, but in many respects it’s been a rewarding one. Perhaps a lifelong project…”
I cant wait to see more of the work, but in the meantime you can visit Roberts website here.
The MAP6 collective are pleased to announce that we will have another opportunity to exhibit the MK Project in Milton Keynes. Featuring my series Autopia, the show will run between Nov 1 – 30 and will be held at the MK Library. More details to follow soon. In the meantime MAP6 will be meeting in September to discuss our next project, exciting times for the collective.
A recent discovery of mine is the wonderful A Road Through Shore Pine, by Robert Adams. The work was made in Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon, in the fall of 2013. Now realised in a book of 18 medium format prints, the series traces a contemplative journey, first by automobile, then by foot, along an isolated, tree-bordered road to the sea. The passage takes on the quality of metaphor, suggestive of life’s most meaningful journeys, especially its final ones.
Adams writes, “The road is one that my family traveled often and fondly. Many of its members are gone now, and Kerstin and I visit the road for the example of the trees.” Adams was said to have stored this work in an archival print box on which he inscribed in pencil a line from the journal of the Greek poet George Seferis, “A marvelous road, enough to make you weep; pine trees, pine trees…”
The England Coast Path – A project born out of years of Ramblers’ campaigning.
In the past days I was really excited to discover that the worlds longest continuos coastal trail will be opened in 2020, and further more that it is right on my doorstep in England. The final trail will be almost 3,000 miles long, and for the first time it gives the right of access to open coast allowing people to walk over access land to explore right up to the water’s edge. The England Coast Path will increase tourism, connect communities, boost rural economies, and allow opportunities for people to enjoy walking by the seaside. Natural England has been busy working with landowners, highway authorities and others to open up stretches of the path. With nine stretches now open and work underway on many more, it should be open in no time.
You can follow the ramblers on Facebook and Twitter or read more about the project here.