These images are from recent and ongoing publications and exhibitions, Wool, Bonefire and Comings and Goings, The Ardenites and Saturday Girl.
Saturday Girl is my most recent work. It is an exploration of what hair means culturally and personally to girls and how they experience and use the power inherent in becoming visible as a woman.
Bonefire consists of photographs of unlit bonfires and their teenage guardians taken over a five-year period around the North of England, highlighting both tradition and community as well as linking us to the land and the elements around us.
Wool is a story about the remnants of the wool industry in Leeds, UK, told through the remaining small businesses and reclaimed majestic spaces used now for other purposes, spaces built with the money of the Industrial Revolution; it is this, but it is also about women, the working hands of the women who did the making; the sewing, cutting and measuring, the hands that tirelessly did and still do the work.
Comings & Goings is a photographic series in three parts. The photographs tell several stories, all of them linked. There is a story of migration – human, plant, and animal – and stories that explore ideas of interconnectedness: the notion that all things are linked, that everything somehow connects with everything else and that all of nature, history, human and animal experience is ultimately linked.
The Ardenites is about the people of Arden, Delaware. Just South of Philadelphia and just North of The Mason-Dixon Line, Arden is a Single Tax community founded in 1900. Arden founders were inspired by William Morris' Arts and Crafts movement and Georgism, named after Henry George. Georgesim is a philosophy and economic ideology that follows from the belief that everyone owns what they create, but everything supplied by nature, most importantly land, belongs equally to all humanity.
I take photographs because I want to explore ideas. I'm trying to understand myself and my relationship to everything, and I do this through the process of taking pictures. Portraiture is endlessly exciting to me because of its ability to show the stuff we try to hide. Photography pretends to be uncomplicated, to be simply a tool to document - but a photograph often has more relationship to metaphor, to shape shifting and to poetry than to reality. it is in this world of continually changing layered readings that I find meaning and self definition.
Originally from Delaware, USA, I now live in England where I work as a photographer, researcher and Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University where I hold a Ph.D in photography. My work is supported by Arts Council England and has been shown most recently at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, University of The Arts, Philadelphia, Jen Bekman Gallery, New York and on the walls of HM Prison Leeds, the first time the walls of a prison have been used as a space for art.
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