Since mid September 2017 I have been in Tanzania, working as the in country photographer for the NGO Raleigh International. After an incredible journey, I recently arrived back in the UK, and have been busy editing the work I made there. I am in the process of updating my website and hope to have the new work online soon.
It was a year to this day that I set off on my journey, walking hundreds of miles across Norfolk and Suffolk, following in the footsteps of one of the regions most brilliant minds. I have sat on the work for the past year, but over the previous month I have began to piece the work together, trying to make sense of the thousands of images and hundreds of pages of diary notes I made during my walk. The series is tentatively called “An English Pilgrimage” and I will have more news about it soon. This photograph was made in the beautiful town of Southwold. I remember finishing my days walk with fish and chips and a pint of Adnams. Good memories.
It was over two and a half years ago when I began walking the Grand Union canal. I recently re-visited a section and came across this area just a few miles from central London. On my first visit there were warehouses stretching all along the canal. When I returned I found that all of these buildings were now rubble, demolished to make way for a new building project. As I stood watching planes coming and going from Heathrow nearby, I thought about how much the landscape is continually changing around us. In only two and a half years this entire landscape was completely unrecognisable. The previous story of this area has now been lost, destroyed for the beginning of a new one.
I have been spending the week making work for my series Sleeplessness. Its been a crazy time, all night walking until day break and then lying in bed all day resting. Last night I got a fright when I was chased by a giant Badger, it was my first ever sighting and hopefully my last. Generally I see nobody all night just the odd fox, drunk person or fellow Insomniac wandering by. So it came as a big surprise when I spotted myself staring back at me in a shop window. It was a truly terrifying moment.
Last month I walked the 100 mile path, the South Downs Way. You can make the journey in either direction, I began in Winchester and ended at the south coast of England in Eastbourne. The walk was deeply significant for me as it marked the end of an important period in my life, as well as the beginning of a new one. Along the way I worked on a series of photographs that hopes to take the viewer on that intimate and personal journey. More images coming soon.
It was around this time last year when I began my walk between London and Birmingham. This picture was one of the first I made as part of my latest series “All Things Pass”. The sculpture is one of a pair from the British sculptor Sean Henry. Collectively they are called Standing Man and Walking Man, and can be found at Paddington Basin in London.
I remember my first encounter with the sculptures on a cold winter day. From afar they appeared as two confrontational men, caught in a stand off. Afterwards I waited nearby to watch how others reacted to them as they walked by. Most people ignored them, but some stopped to examine them and have their photograph taken. The most memorable couple separated and stood next to each sculpture. They then walked the adjoining line towards one another until they met in the centre. Upon meeting, they embraced one another and then walked happily away, hand in hand. This memory has come back to me many times during my walk. It’s a reminder of the joy I feel when starting out on foot on a new and unpredictable journey.
I have had a busy few months making work, editing and trying to get my latest series of photographs into shape. As part of this process I once again found myself in London, but this time I set out to capture the city from a different perspective. I had never seen London from above and with the exception of visiting the Shard or taking a helicopter ride I didn’t have much of a clue where to go to capture an elevated panorama of the city (I would gladly welcome any suggestions). So I spent the day walking from place to place trying to gain access to areas high above the city, and I have to say it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. However, with a bit of determination, a lot of waiting and a few half truths I eventually managed to get some photographs from London’s upper levels.