London is many things, light and dark. Perhaps nowhere else in England embodies the intersection between chaotic creation and destruction like this monolithic metropolis, that 8.6 million people call home.
There is something foreboding about London; to feel a little intimidated by ‘The Big Smoke’ is a sign of wisdom. The idea of London as the epicentre of historic dominion and oppression remains. You can very much feel the ghost of the terror and darkness that once inhabited the streets; lasting darkness of the kind immortalised in the poetry of William Blake. And everywhere little reminders lay, like the hopeless inequality which hangs heavy and leaden over this place. I have resisted London, although I cannot deny the cultural weight which is here.
In a city of such enormous contrast and energy, it felt right to take photos in black and white. My close friend William and I packed our bags, and set off into the mass.
I have been going to Bristol infrequently for some time now, and every time I do it is a different experience. There are so many areas, and hidden places to find. Without fail, it is an exciting place to be. My good friend Aimee and I wanted to take a day to dreamily delve into this varied city.
I had really wanted to go back to Cuckmere Haven, having been there several times before. There is definitely something special about the place. Located somewhere between the towns of Eastbourne and Seaford, this is where Sussex runs into the ocean.
The river Cuckmere flows in sinews through the grassy flood plain, and isolates green islets, dotted all over with sheep. There are footpaths which lead down and around it, and out to the sea. A pebble beach gazes across at the chalk cliffs called the Seven Sisters.
I took some photos while I wandered about the place.
The title is not exactly true. This series was shot all through November, December and January. I worked in black and white because I think that, whereas a colour photograph is often real and immersive, a monochrome frame brings out a distinct otherness. It’s still real, but it is more honest that it is a representation of the real. You can be drawn in, but never get too close, as though a sheen has been drawn across reality. December represents the end of the year, but also the end of a lot of other things that are important to me. I see it as perfect that I decided long before, unaware, to use this format. December was some kind of full stop, or maybe an ellipsis.
This little boutique magazine vendor first opened up its doors in August 2015, and I’ve been enchanted ever since. Magalleria have followed a minimal model; create a beautifully clean, welcoming space and stock only the highest quality and most aesthetically fascinating print products. After stumbling upon a shop called Magazine Brighton, it stuck out that the city of Bath really deserved a similar space, and happily Magalleria’s chief owner Daniel felt the same. Since the project started, it has been steadily stocking up on a list of publications from around the globe, which include the locally produced magazines Cereal and Another Escape. Tucked away on Broad Street, you might easily walk past without noticing that it’s there. If you do get the opportunity, I wouldn’t hesitate to nip in and say hello (and if your anything like I am, impulsively buy a title).
A group of guys who hang out and play each other electronic music is growing into something bigger. They call themselves Havana Breakfast Club, and all currently hail from the city of Bath. Not long ago, somebody put one of their mixing sessions out on YouTube, and people liked it, so they’re doing it again. A friend of mine invited me round while they set up for a live stream, and got some music going in the background.
The Switzerland trip began as an opportunity to go and visit an old friend, and morphed into a parallel opportunity to go and fulfil every cliché about Switzerland that we could haphazardly compile into a list. Skiing, snow capped mountains fondant, pristine hillside country and the clean, regimented furore of Zurich were what we expected, and most of that didn’t happen or changed. It was a great time just the same. Myself and good friend Madison would fly out together, to be met by our old university hall-mate Laura.
I shot all of these pictures exclusively in medium format, here below is a brief window into our time in Switzerland.
The last few weeks have been a period of metamorphosis, things have been shifting, and so has life. Moving out of Uni halls, and back home for the summer has tendered a moment to slow down and simplify. Working outside, walking and breathing in the countryside.
A friend of mine called Ben Franks has graduated this year, and his great project that he is nurturing is wine tasting. He has started running these evenings, and a few privileged friends got to have a private tasting. I entered as someone who enjoys a glass of wine, but certainly had limited knowledge of the culture and procedures around it. Winding our way through Victoria Park, we came to a large old house, and climbed to the top floor where we were met by Ben, and led into an open dining area.
Madison has been featured in periphery a few times on this blog and my instagram feed. As flat mates at University, we spend a lot of time hanging out together, and get along really well; something to do with a mutual appreciation of one another’s sardonic sense of humour, I think. That being said, I wanted to open up this blog to a bit more portraiture and what greater place to start than with a very close friend.