five point perspective The landscape issue
Robert fanshawe becki morris tom pratt thom whitehead isabelle williams
introduction After a successful exhibition in Bristol Galleries Shopping Centre, Five Point Perspective are continuing to collaborate to bring projects together in the form of future exhibitions and online publications. Acting as an extension of the catalogue that was available during the exhibition, issue one features extra material, interviews and artists talking about current and future work.
Bringing together five landscape photographers from all over the UK, Five Point Perspective is a visually documentative commentary on the social, historical and geographical changes that arise from mankindâ€™s relationship with nature. All focussing on different issues, the photographers each offer their own perspective on their chosen subject matter.
WASTE - ROBERT FANSHAWE As a photographer, I make socially aware images that document and highlight current issues and injustices that I notice. I like to study the consequences of current affairs on localities to see what effect we as people have on earth, and the way we shape the world around us. Following information from public domains and the stories of people involved I try to produce photographs that are aesthetically pleasing but rich with matter. For the project WASTE, I noticed how much rubbish was dumped around the streets and parks in the area I live. This got me thinking about the struggle we as a population face to properly dispose of our refuse, and how it often enroaches on our living spaces. So I started to document the fly tipped rubbish I saw around the places I live.
III - Waste. Robert is also working on a project on potential fracking sites, in keeping with his interest in highlighting injustices within our society.
INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN - bECKI morris When thinking about landscape photography, we often imagine rural scenes, full of greenery and natural beauty but the reality in Britain is so many of these areas were taken over by industry long ago. For some people these landscapes may be unattractive, with the grey, concrete shapes and buildings built purely for practical use, not to be pleasing to the eye. I do however strongly believe that there is beauty in everything and whilst these areas are not typically appealing, industry in Britain has shaped our lives for decades and has given us certain independence from the rest of the world. When working on a landscape project, I like to explore a different side to it all. I started off photographing industrial landscapes for the gritty and harsh feel of them but discovered that even through the unappealing nature of the photographs, there is something truly amazing about these factories and foundries. I have developed this project to remind people of an unexpected and disregarded beauty in Britain and to pre- sent this important part of Britain in a nicer way.
Becki Morris is currently working on a new project that encapsulates the politics of a ‘Broken Britain.
Right now I am working on a different project with a dark and gritty feel. I am looking into a more political side of Britain. I have already photographed two protests for my work on ‘Broken Britain’, one by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) called ‘Stop the Immigration Bill’ in Sheffield and one involving the English Defence League (EDL) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Slough. I came across the SYMAAG protest when walking through Sheffield but chose the EDL and UAF protest in the hopes of showing the violence that groups engage in when protesting their political views. As well as more protests, I plan to photograph worn down areas of Britain involving litter, destroyed buildings and a general unattractiveness of Britain. I also hope to photograph some evidence of poverty, loneliness and poor treatment of people, possibly juxtaposed with the wealthy and less typically ‘broken’ side of Britain. With this project, I hope to encourage more people to see the troubled side of Britain which is often ignored or kept out of sight and I would love to inspire them to get involved with their community, speak up and help those who need it.
Tynemouth to South Shields coast line and the man made forms within it - TOM PRATT Our World is fast paced, noisy, Colourful and full of distractions. Long exposure photography has a way of softening our surroundings and making an image appear completely otherworldly. Moving Clouds and water can simplify backgrounds and reduce unwanted clutter and dis- traction. Ultimately, I am using the Medium of photography to record something the human eye cannot see in the landscape around us. My interest lies in the relationship, juxtaposition, even the confrontation between the landscape and everything we put into it. Where I wouldnâ€™t refer myself a minimalist photographer. I do tend to frequently reflect and practice minimal elements into my work. By anchoring my images with basic geometric shapes in the natural and man made landscapes, I am able to highlight the clean and fine finishes which influence a landscapes beauty. Working in Black and White enables me to strip away any distracting colours and focus the audienceâ€™s attention on the tonal balance and contrast between object and Landscape, which can improve visual aesthetics. Darkening the day palette can give an ambiguous and sometimes unsettling effect.
TOm Pratt: behind the lens For this project I decided to travel north and visit Newcastle’s coast by Tynemouth, St Pauls and also South shields. I had been interested in minimal photography when looking at a different number of photographers, one of them being Michael Kenna. What I loved about their work was how they could make a moment or a scene feel so calm and so much less busy and distracting with the natural and also man made forms within it. It took me two weeks to get all the images I have so far. The problem with long exposure photography is that you can only really get about three photos per day, depending on the weather as well. Towards the end I was trying to speed the process up and started shooting with two cameras at once, which was hard but still possible. What also interested me in this style of photography was how patient you had to be when taking the photo. I had to really try seeing what picture I was trying to get out of it before clicking the go button. For this set of images I used a Mamiya R767 and only used three different lenses. I had a 50mm, and 80mm and a 150mm. On the front of my camera I used what’s called a neutral density filter which stopped the light entering the camera by 10X the usual amount, which let me keep my shutter speed open for longer, giving that flat calm effect to the sea and the sky. Most of my images were from 1 hour 24 minutes – 2 hours depending on what affect I was going for. My favourite weather to photograph in was cloudy and moody because you could get a really great effect with the clouds as they shift and move. Some of my shorter photos were 24minutes – 40 minutes if I was trying to get the cloud effect, but most the time I shot longer to get the most calm effect possible. I was shooting using 100, 50 and 25-ISO film speeds. In the two week I spent up north in my car those were the only 3 films I managed to get through. I was getting up at 6:00am every morning in order to get as many as four photos done during the day. I also had to get up that time in order to beat the tide and not get stuck out in some locations as I shot from a few places that get cut off by the water.
holy land of the english - thom whitehead 400 years ago the fenlands were just marshes and meres, scattered with vulnerable towns. After being drained in the 18th and 19th century the fens are now full of mineral deposits from the sea, turning it into a huge factory of farms and arable land. Sometimes known as the ‘Holy Land of the English’, the fens are strewn with church and cathedral spires poking out of horizons beyond the farms. An area traditionally full of wealthy Christians, the farmers would donate large amounts of money to churches to “guarantee” their place in heaven. Amongst the churches the fens are also covered in objects and structures in more recent history that obstruct a perfect consistency in the landscape; destroyed barns, disused windmills, hay bales and storage containers miles from anywhere. All of which paint a picture of the geography, history and formation of the fens.
If the fens were likened to an ocean then the few hills would be islands and the centrepieces of these images could be seen as the jetsam and flotsam of human existence - A lifeboat in this sea of agriculture.
thom whitehead: behind the lens For ‘Holy Land of the English’, I walked for one week across the Lincolnshire area of the fenlands equipped with a mamiya 645 and a digital camera for references. The journey led me (and an illustrator) 62 miles across a desolate and flat landscape, camping some nights, staying in remote pub hotels other nights, and befriending a student in Lincoln on our final night who offered us his sofa. Although the photos feature blue skies, the sea breeze made the temperatures drop. Part of the statement for the work came to me after the expedition. Walking back from the train station I bumped into an old homeless friend who, as a foster child, had lived at many of the places we visited during the walk. She explained to me the reason behind the many churches in the fens and why it is sometimes called ‘Holy Land of the English’.
Illustration of Thom Whitehead during the walk, By Jamie Tobin
Disused Windmill - Holy Land of the English
red rock - isabelle williams Red Rock’ is a photographic study concerned with the early formation of the land; the geological events that took place millions of years ago. It is an attempt to bring the ancient history of the land to the forefront of the audience’s mind, when physical changes that occurred were not influenced by man, but were instead entirely natural phenomena that have given us our modern-day landscape. Rather than just seeing elements of the land as they are today, it’s important to recognise the physical history, and how the formation of our landscape came to be. I wanted to follow the historical timeline – starting with images of the Old Red Sandstone, and leading on to the images of the carboniferous limestone. The inclusion of water is deliberate and important, for two reasons; firstly, rising temperatures after the Silurian period, that produced the sandstone, gave way to a more tropical climate and allowed for shallow seas to form in the south of the area. The limestone was formed from the hard shells and fossils of the living organisms of these seas. Secondly, the water is evidence of glacial activity that came much later, as a result of the first of the ice ages, a phenomenon that greatly altered the landscape. In my narrative of exhibited photographs, water acts as a good segue from one image to the next.
While I am interested in the environmental and the landscape, my thought process has generally been limited to modern-day issues. However, it was refreshing to consider a time period that occurred millions of years ago and to be able to recognise and understand how evidence of another time is still visible today. The early formation of the land is something that is perhaps not an immediate thought when considering landscape photography, because people see the land- scape in its present form - an urban sprawl – they see changes that have occurred in the extremely recent past. It’s true that people have manipulated the land irreversibly but with this project, I attempted to bring the ancient history of the land to the forefront of the audience’s mind, when changes were occurring that man did not have influence over.
Behind the exhibition We would like to thank the Bristol Galleries shopping centre for letting us use empty retail space to put on the first Five Point Perspective exhibition, as well as Photographique for the prints, Bristol UWE and The University of Gloucestershire for making this collaboration of two universities possible. And thank you, the reader of this publication, for coming to our exhibition and showing enough interest in us to write your email address down on our mailing list. We hope this exhibition was the first of many, and we will keep you updated on future work and exhibitions with our online publications, possibly someday becoming print!
We hope you enjoyed reading more about us and what we do, if you would like to support please show your family, friends, or just anyone you think might be interested in our work. ÂŠ2014 Photographers hold all rights over photos used in this publication.
An online publication to be sent to our mailing list after the exhibition, acting as an extension of the catalogue that was available during...