I found myself gravitating towards photographers who took an interest in some of the more ephemeral aspects of landscape. The ‘square mile’ with which we are most familiar may seem permanent. We may walk the same path, see the same shops, pass the same buildings, travel on the bus or train with the same people, and feel that we ‘know’ our square mile. But perhaps this prevents us from noticing the small, imperceptible changes-the fading of the paint on our front door and window, the slow oxidisation of iron railings, the crumbling of brickwork or asphalt, the graffiti marks on the bus shelter.
In his series of photographs ‘Boredom To Burn’, Gawain Bernard (i) reflects upon wildfire burning that takes place each spring in the South Wales Valleys. Although he suggests that the blackened landscape may appear on one level to act as a metaphor for South Wales’s industrial past, the series concentrates upon small remnants left after the burn- a discarded spoon here, a clutch of burned eggs, the charred remains of a plant. The small details within the bigger picture. Looking beyond the obvious…
In his work “Self Burial”, Keith Arnatt reflects upon the ideas of slow disappearance and disintegration, seeking to understand the “ability of photography simultaneously to document what was there and transform it into something quite different… recording his presence at the point where it becomes absence.” (ii)
(i). Gawainbarnard.com. (2017). Gawain Barnard. [online] Available at: http://gawainbarnard.com/photo_13162026.html [Accessed 19 Mar. 2017].
(ii). British Journal of Photography. (2017). Keith Arnatt: the conceptual photographer who influenced a generation. [online] Available at: http://www.bjp-online.com/2015/09/keith-arnatt-the-conceptual-photographer-who-influenced-a-generation/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2017].