Southampton Solent University - Artist in Residence
Towards the end of 2018 I began my residency at Solent University in the photography department. This is a very exciting opportunity that allows me to develop the work ahead of me.
Throughout my time at Solent I will be producing a body of work that documents the Pondhead Conservation group in the New Forest. This work will be created while I volunteer with the group to gain a better understanding of the work they are doing and why it is so important.
How I want to document
The scale of this project is one that I am not used to and will require more dedication than my previous work has seen. Photographs will be taken during my own volunteer sessions and on days when I go purely to document. I feel that truth is crucial to this genre of photography and that is why I need to volunteer. Getting hands on and doing the work the volunteers are doing will give me the chance to know what is really going on with first hand experience.
The volunteers themselves are equally as important to the conservation work itself, without the efforts of those giving their time to make this all happen then nothing would be done. With this in mind there will be a strong focus on the volunteers presented alongside the conservation documentation. This is with the intention of producing a more unified body of work expressing the necessity of volunteers to help maintain the woodlands at Pondhead.
How much I see
Since taking on the project I have found the largest challenge to be juggling this and all other aspects in my life around it. In some respects this gives me a hidden advantage of seeing the quick progress of the work that happens at Pondhead. From session to session there is such a huge leap in the work that has been done it is extraordinary. As I get more familiar and comfortable with how much I can manage, I look forward to documenting the ever changing landscape they are managing.
Learning something new
One of the most enjoyable parts of this work so far has been the explosion of information about the conservation work. My interest in this area of work and what drove me towards it, came from reading authors such as Roger Deakin, Robert Macfarlane and Max Adams. Their writing of the natural world made my love affair with nature grow and grow with every page. As this project develops I will be gathering more and more information from my favourite writers and other volunteers to support the photographs and educate those that wish to learn more.