We have a strange attitude to the landscape. In so much landscape photography, the stress is on the natural, as though landscapes are an environment that exist separately from mankind. There is rarely much acknowledgement that we exist in a complex relationship with the landscape.
In Western Europe, there are few places that are untouched by humanity. Even the remotest spots are affected by our existence.
The Layered Land project is about abandoning the false notion – so beloved of camera clubs and salon-style photographers – that the best landscape photography somehow taps into a seam of 'purity'. It's about acknowledging that the landscapes that surround us (well, me, anyway) have been shaped by human occupation over millennia.
I want to celebrate the traces that mankind has left in the landscape, to view them as evidence of our reliance upon, relationship to and appreciation of the environment.
While the ideas behind The Layered Land inform much of my landscape photography, there are also some specific threads that I am developing as sub-projects. The aim is to turn each of these into a book and exhibition. These projects are:
Traces: The main landscape project exploring the marks we leave in the landscape and our place in it.
Ancient Traces: Based around megalithic monuments (standing stones, dolmens etc) and how they are enduring marks of mankind's relationship to the landscape.
Dust & Shadow: Military fortifications – especially the German WW2 Atlantic Wall – and how these remnants of war are now assuming the appearance of mysterious monuments.
Voie Verte: Images of and from France's greenways (mostly former railway tracks) as well as abandoned railways lines and the decaying infrastructure that remains.
The most recent blog posts about The Layered Land: