The Broken Pastoral
This project, a continuation of several series of photographs and ideas, deals with the notion of the “Broken Pastoral” which is the distinctively English cultural response to accelerating industrialisation and technological advances that have impacted on the English Landscape over the past 50 years. Many art forms, in particular music, throughout this period frequently refer to a longing for a return to a bygone era, one often associated with the countryside (or even a period of suburban plenty) while acknowledging the impossibility of making a return to this idyll because that world has been disrupted and disfigured beyond repair by the advance of modernity. There is also the argument that the collective memory of these bucolic landscapes is, in part, a construct of an outdated, diminishing, class system that would prefer the world to return to a place where it was once a dominant force. The “ Broken Pastoral “ for me, is not a lament for something lost but a celebration of what has been created. These new landscapes have their own charm and nuances, replacing the old pastoral vistas; all created by mans intervention in the environment for eons, with new interventions and the creation of a new era in English Landscape. Paradoxically, these dystopian beauty spots invariably vacillate between the utilitarian and the sublime creating a cognitive dissonance within the work and, subsequently the viewer.
These images are part of a larger series created between November 2014 and July 2015 for the book “Hackney by Night” published by Hoxton Mini Press / November 2015 with accompanying text by Karen Faulkner. latinum)