Last Summer

2017 - ongoing

Current body of work Last Summer pictures scenes outside my direct experience, through something that is. Photographs of families with young children are approached through a love of the sea. They focus on how we arrange ourselves and gesture to others when we or they are in unfamiliar territory.

This series of photographs began in North Island New Zealand. Taking photographs at Mermaid’s Pool in 2017 triggered this ongoing body of work. Afterwards I realised it was the first time in a long time that I’d been able to look long enough to compose a photograph, rather than look away from a scene I could not recreate in my own life. This is a developing series of images, started on one side of the world and continuing in the other, from North Island, New Zealand to Cornwall, UK.

The photograph at Mermaid Pool, New Zealand shows a group of different generations, two of the adults are raising their hands in a mirrored gesture, shielding their eyes to observe the camera drone above them. We’re all in the water, connected through the liquid, the raised hands are a unifying gesture, the group appears arranged just for me.

There’s an image of cohabitation present in these scenes, the photographer and subject, groups in different domains as individuals, friends, children and parents. We signal ourselves as together through our proximity and distance. In these photographs the theatre space of the beach and the riverside holds us in a shared love of water; these locations are my connection back to a sense of closeness to the strangers in front of me.

A selection from this developing body of work has been featured in NU, a new European journal of writing, photography and visual art – Stefanie Braun, NU co-editor and previously Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery, and myself were invited to talk about the journal’s theme of ‘Habitat’ by Christiane Monarchi, founding editor, Photomonitor.

Stefanie Braun: ”What I like very much about your images is that the groups you photograph seem on the one hand very composed and directed, as if the rocks or the beach act like a theatre stage, the figures perfectly in harmony with their environment, folded into it nearly.’ 

Last Summer will be featured in my solo show As It Is Seen at Grays Wharf, Cornwall in 2022.

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50.5264° N, 5.0250° W, 2020 (Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall)

50.2034° N, 5.4198° W, 2019 (Gwithian, Cornwall)

50.2034° N, 5.4198° W, 2019 (Gwithian, Cornwall)

50.533756° N, 5.0237637° W, 2020 (Constantine Bay, Cornwall)

50.2069° N, 5.4149° W, 2020 (Mexico Towans, Cornwall)

35.5591° S, 174.5143° E, 2017 (Mermaid's Pool, New Zealand)