THE EVERYTHING ROADTRIPS
The Everything Roadtrips bring together documentary photography, performance and fictional narratives.
In this work I invite different artists/activists/poets to have a conversation with me about wisdom, where it can be found and to ask together 'What should we be doing for/in this world?' From this we devise a collaboration, a 'road trip', where we explore this question together.
Historical figures walk among us as in the work with artist Laura Robinson where we invoke the modernist Scottish writer Nan Shepherd (1893 - 1981) on a pre-Covid trip to Ullapool, Scotland by dressing as her, by ‘being Nan’. We embody Nan as she embodied the Cairngorm Mountains in her book The Living Mountain. With Nan and Laura, I learn to not separate from the subject, from the landscape, from the act of photographing, subject and photographer both.
Gig is the landlady, community activist and artist from the Golden Lion Pub, Todmorden. In our road trip we travel during the Covid restrictions of Summer 2020, through the attic of the pub into a secret room. Gig enacts Thai rituals that symbolise the giving to community, the feeding and acts of ritual food offerings, the role of the colour yellow in her art and community activism. I am transported to a childhood reoccurring dream of a secret room and this becomes a part of the work as well. The work is permeated by the virus and its impact on our lives.
At the end of 2020 I photographed Winter Solstice in The Kielder Forest; the darkest day (of the darkest year), under the darkest sky in Europe.
The photographic ritual recorded an act of welcoming the returning light, of saying goodbye to the darkness of 2020 with large format pinhole exposures lasting the whole of the daylight hours. The collaborative element here, under lockdown and without the possibility of working with a collaborator, was with photography itself. The cameras forced me to travel to an elemental place of photography, of light, time. It was a reset, a renewed relationship to my practice and tools. In standing with cameras for exposures that were hours long photography taught me the lesson of slowing down.