“The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts.” Rebecca Solnit
The collection, Fragment of a Narrative1 evolved from two positions in my photography practice; the continued pursuit of ‘a search of time and place’, alongside the developing idea of ‘we search for something, we know not what’.
My inclination was to pursue image creation outside the framework of pre-planning and objectives, the photograph becomes a spontaneous observation reflecting conversations while walking.
The photographs belong to incomplete chapters (series) of a future book; the conversations, often with myself, are a search for understanding, a resolution of the past.
The Village – Coach lights
Part of this series, the caption states, “Fled are those times, if e’er such times were seen”. It is a reflection of nostalgia and the words are from the poem, The Village by George Crabbe published 1783.
The newly introduced Coach lights in the village have reduced the beauty of moonlight – gone are the soft shadows, the backlit outline of familiar buildings and the softly illuminated pathways. The composition is a reflection on ‘occupied space’ and how each element plays an important, and central role.
The Old Ways – Anthony Lane, part of the Devil’s Arrows Ley
The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins was published in 1925, the author was an antiquarian and amateur photographer. He proposed that ancient trackways, often potential trading routes, aligned with significant points in the landscape, often showing signs of past human activity. He referred to them as ‘ley’.
He ascribed no mystical inference, that came later in the 60’s, with the misnaming of then as Ley Lines, Watkins always referred to them as archaic tracks. In folklore, the expression, ‘lay (ley) of the land’ shows a continuity based on usage.
You can read a copy of Watkins early thoughts in Early British Trackways.
Extract from The Meeting a poem by John Rawson
“My cob-built home has crumbled. Hereabouts
Few folk remember me: and though you stare
Till time’s conclusion you’ll not glimpse me striding
The broad, bare down with flock or toiling team.
Yet in this landscape still my spirit lingers:”
Follow the link above for the full poem
“This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath, the door of a vanquished house left ajar.” Margaret Atwood
Further images can be found on my personal website.
1Fragment of a narrative was used by Clive Lancaster to describe the photographs of Raymond Moore in the Introduction to Every So Often. Hugo van Wadenoyen recognised the role fragments play in a narrative in his seminal 1947 Wayside Snapshots.