Landscape: Social and Environmental AD6802

Landscape, what automatically springs to mind for me a greatly composed, highly detailed Ansel Adams-est photograph with rich, beautiful colours bursting with vibrance. It is our challenge to produce something similar in the heart of England’s winter time, overcast days, 3pm sunsets and all round misery. I’ll try my best.

 

I’ve been looking at alot of Richard Billingham’s work recently as a result of doing a chapter of my dissertation on his Ray’s a Laugh series. I’ve been drawn into looking at Britain from an inside perspective, looking at how we actually are instead of how we present ourselves. I wonder if I can carry that across to landscape? Landscape is a very broad genre which can carry a wide range of meanings/insinuations. A landscape can comment on politics, social problems, environmental issues and of course serve as a beautiful piece of photography to hang on the wall.

 

I’ve highlighted a few on my brainstorm board which I am very interested in. Which are

  • Water sports
  • ‘Real Britain’
  • Car showroom forecourts
  • physical presence of cars on the landscape
  • Prescott Hill Climb

 

Water Sports

Is something i’ve been intersted in looking at for a long time. I watch alot of daily vloggers on youtube who do alot of surfing and travelling all over the world. It seems like great fun, but is is accessable in the UK? I know that back home in a town nearby there is an facility dedicated to wind surfing, diving and tuition. I’m interested to see how big the surfing industry is in England, and where the hotspots are in the UK. One of my freinds is a very knowledgeable surfer, so I may message him to pick his brains.

 

‘Real Britain’

What I mean by ‘Real Britain’ is to show how we are instead of how we are perceived to be through television shows etc. British unemployment percentage is now at 5.4% of the British population in 2015. I want to look at poverty in Britain in terms of how it is affecting the landscape for example, the streets, the block of flats, the separation of classes and the physicality of being poor in Britain. It is something that I’ve been bought up around and can sympathise with growing up in Dagenham, East London as a kid. Coming from a poorer, working class family helps me to be empathetic and understand poverty much more than any other type of social documentary style. In a way, I want to replicate the thoughts of my childhood, growing up in a town surrounded by crime, drugs, poverty and desperation to do well in life. Im proud of where I come from and how I was bought up, I want to reflect back on that with a camera, to capture the feelings I have toward poverty.

 

Car showroom forecourts

Im starting to think that its physically impossible for me not to think about cars on any introduction to a project… Its something I love and will continue to love until im old and brittle. Car showrooms, much like housing in the UK are all relatively similar in how they are constructed but are completely different when it comes to interiors/representing themselves. They all have their own little personalities if it were, whether that be boring and dull German manufacturers or exiting and exotic Italian manufacturers they’re all different. I also want to look into why there are so many, the second hand car market is sure enough greater than buying a brand new car. Much more people can afford a second hand car, there’s much more choice and flexibility is there when it comes to the asking price. I want to know more, as to why brand new car showrooms span the country in ways that they do.

Physical presence of cars on the landscape

Smog, pollution and petrol stations are only partly what i’m thinking of here. I want to look at the prescence of roads, highways and how they are strategically placed around/through valleys for convenience. We can get from one end of the country to the other in a fairly direct manor nowadays, I want to examine the importance of roads as a lifeline to our expanding population and greed for overseas products etc.

 

Prescott Hillclimb

I’m almost ashamed of myself for living in Cheltenham for almost 3 years without ever going to the Hillcimb, literally a few miles away from me, shame on you Matt! The history that this track carries fascinates me, with its first event held in the 1930s… 1930s!! I love to prestigious atmosphere of oldschool motorsport heritage and Prescott Hillclimb is by far the king of motorsport heritage in the UK. I want to photograph the track more than the actual event/cars themselves, as relatively speaking, the track remains as it was from decades ago whereas the cars and technology that races around advances year on year. I want to photograph the track surface, barriers and surroundings to examine the history which engulfs this track. Silverstone boasts to be ‘the home of British motor racing’ but in my opinion Prescott wins hands down for being the true birthplace.

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