My documentation of the English north began in 2007 as a self-funded photography project involving the navigation of the inland waterways that connect Greater Manchester to Yorkshire. This photographic journey follows the South Pennine Ring – a canal network that dissects the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The network functions as a map or guide, rather than subject and provides opportunities for historical as well as geographical journeys.
The project explores visual tensions between synthetic and natural forms that constitute a northern, post-industrial landscape. The proximity of one architectural site to another provide clues about the regions industrial past and its sometimes discordant relationship with the present. The canal is a tacit element that appears and re-appears on a journey functioning as an artery running through cities and towns providing narrative. The routes taken juxtapose pastoral beauty with industrial decline and regeneration.
The project has recently been developed into a practice based PhD that explores walking as a methodology which is identity forming and indexical – establishing a sense of place that may be defined as ‘Northern’ and revealed through the cognitive process of traversing rural and urban landscapes with a camera.
Currently on display at Sheffield Institute of the Arts Gallery, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NUuntil 31st July 2016.