I am photographing Spaces and Places in man-made outdoor environments both urban and rural. The locations are public and open, often chosen because they are used as transitions or thresholds between spaces. I am particularly interested in how we perceive our spaces, their different characteristics and their psychological effects on us. I am looking at how space/place is defined, the relationships between spaces and the types of structures or features that create them.
My work is influenced by ideas of the Uncanny, the Sublime and of Space and Place. The Uncanny was defined by Freud and others as "the familiar becoming strange" - an uncomfortable feeling created when something which should be familiar is perceived to be foreign or alien in some way. The meaning of the word Sublime has evolved over the years but here I am interested in Kant's idea of an overwhelming, awe-inspiring reaction.
The concept of Space represents ideas of the unknown, of potential, adventure, risk, of the beyond. The concept of Place represents opposite ideas – of safety, security, confinement, familiarity. These definitions are personal, in that one person’s Place may be another person's Space.
My work has been influenced and inspired by photographers such as Candida Hofer, Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Thomas Struth.
While I am working, I am trying to reconcile a feeling of tension between creating an image as an aesthetic depiction of a subject, on the one hand, and as an exploration of a concept, on the other.
In making this work I am seeking to explore our complex relationship to our physical environments and question the disconcerting nature of much of our intervention in the natural world. I believe it important that my work creates a visceral/emotional as well as an aesthetic response in the viewer.