About this Project
This project came about when I moved from Leicestershire to South Wales. I had grown up near the north west Lancashire coast and remember well walks through the pine woods of Formby and Ainsdale and on to expansive sands. The coast was ‘always there’ and when something is ‘always there’ there is a tendancy to take it for granted.
Holidaying in Western Scotland during many of my formative years saw us exploring the tide lines, crabing and rock-pooling, fishing or out and about in boats, some that needed continual bailing to others that cruised through the Inner Hebredies.
So much coast and so much edge; a barrier that held you physically back yet pushed your horizons and allowed you to gaze and contemplate; coastline that defined your location in a real sense. It always seemed to me such a contrast, the edge seperating two ridiculously different bodies, water and land, yet both intrinsinctly linked. The area of transition constantly on the move, shifting, never constant from each push. The revealing of a new landscape as the pull of the moon lessened and the unremitting continuance of the process providing a constant that was familiar and reassuring.
Visually the edge is a continual source of inspirational energy. Just one bay would be enough to sustain a lifetimes work, yet the British Isles offers an impossible 20,000 miles of coastline.
I moved to Leicester in 1982 and for four years felt land-locked. Only a seventy mile journey would take you to that edge again, by most accounts it’s the furthest point from the coast in Great Britain and for the first time it wasn’t ‘always there’ and I missed it. I felt curiously isolated. There was no defining edge to give structure to location; nowhere to gaze beyond all else. On returning to the coastal fringes, this time in South Wales, a renewed vigour returned and the raising of the heart beat that never fails me when I catch site of the sea was there again.
Through this body of work I am aiming to hold something of this extraordinary power and pull the coast has on me and to visually explore the many metaphors the edge offers for what Alfred Steiglitz, in his cloud studies called ‘equivalents’.