Scratch - Urban Palimpsests


This (ongoing) body of photographs examines and documents found glass surfaces in various locations between London and Sussex.

Over time, various narratives emerge in these locations (usually street furniture such as phone boxes and bus shelters). They include natural marks (detritus, moisture, weathering) and deliberate interventions (scratching, scoring, depositing, smearing, sticking). Gradually, new elements arrive and coexist - often briefly - leaving an echo of what each space has witnessed. It is rarely clear how or why they emerged, but these raw, ambiguous, layered ghosts reveal a very particular calligraphy and trigger a sense of forensic curiosity.

Such surfaces usually comprise the residues of illegal acts of vandalism. But, occasionally, touching traces of 'being human' can be found: a cathartic or intimate declaration, a personal message, an affection, a proposition, a confession, a playful moment, a violent outburst, a crossing out or retraction, a corrosive attack with fire or acid, an abrasion, an incoherent gesture akin to primal automatism. Others are the product of chance and offer unintended juxtapositions, interpretations and potential narratives.

These fragments are framed within atmospheric glimpses of their environments and contexts. Other than careful framing and subtle adjustments in post-production, this work involves no intervention or manipulation (on location or subsequently). It seeks to direct our attention to the corners and recesses of our immediate environments, and to celebrate the richness found in the banal and the ordinary. It also seeks to explore new ways of looking at landscape.

Prints from this series are usually 40cm square and in editions of 10. 

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