Friday, 16 December 2016
I view seaside resorts with mixed emotions, I love the whole escapism bit but it also cuts against the grain. The job of the 'Fantasy World' is to fleece visitors of as much money as possible. In winter the lack of activity exposes the recumbent underbelly of the money making machine that is reliant warm weather and people's wish to escape from reality.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
The appearance of the Cliff Farm turkey usually signifies that Christmas is around the corner (joke intended). Until this year the turkey on wheels has been an annual sighting at North Carlton, cheering people up on their way to work. In 2016 it has been conspicuous by its absence - perhaps it was finally culled!
Monday, 31 October 2016
The Day of the Dead in Lincoln, what goes around, comes around. It's strange when customs that originate in Europe arguably as a pagan or Christian celebrations, return from the Americas almost unrecognisable. I like the way the Co-op organise travel not only to foreign parts but also from this life to the next.
Friday, 28 October 2016
Burton Hunter Trials Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage photograph from 1907 showed the separation of the classes aboard ship with higher class on the upper deck above the lower class on the lower deck, reflecting their positions in society. Only the wealthy own horses and the lower classes watch as they parade, jump, race and hunt. This image was intentionally shot with both Stieglitz and the painter Edouard Manet in mind. I guess there will always be rich and poor, even in Lincolnshire.
Friday, 14 October 2016
Being largely flat and out-of-the-way, Lincolnshire was an ideal place to build WW2 aerodromes, so many that it seems like every village had one, hence the moniker ‘Bomber County’.
This is where the Dambusters were based, and during the Cold War nuclear V bombers. The RAF still has a large presence here including, the Red Arrows, RAF College Cranwell and RAF Waddington AWACS base.Littered with aviation heritage sites and museums, Lincolnshire appears to be obsessed with it’s aviation history.
The UK's tallest war memorial is currently being built as part of the new International Bomber Command Centre. Heritage and nostalgia wraps us up in a mythologised past, where time appears to stand still. Local newspapers feature endless stories of aviation heritage.
You can take part in 1940s theme weekends. Shops sell inflatable Spitfires and display posters that recommend you “KEEP CALM and EAT SAUSAGES”. Ah yes, home of the famous Lincolnshire Sausage!
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
A particular kind of fiction
I've just completed a tour of Phil Cosker's "Landscapes - A particular kind of fiction". This work consists of six images, 10x8 feet, exhibited in six church yards, September 18th – October 24th 2016. (further details www.philcosker.com)
"I made these photographs using glass plates exposed in a Thornton Pickard ‘Imperial’ half-plate bellows camera with a 47/8 120mm lens. The images were made between 1982 & 1984. I found the camera in a second-hand shop; there were dark slides but no film of any sort. By chance he discovered some unexposed boxes of Ilford Tri-colour plates in a cupboard in Hull School of Art & Design. After much experimentation I found I could use each plate separately and was able to control exposures to create these images."
"These very large images (magnificently printed by Rob Hodgson at Double Red) try to capture the volume and sense of space in the locations in which they were made. In some ways, though very different in content, they make reference to the beauty and mystery in Atget’s work (the pioneering French photographer 1857-1927). The acuity of the lens and the capture of the passage of time in a still frame offer a particular way of seeing. But of course what we see in these large photographs is not what is, or was there, but a fiction, an imagination of passing time and place. Beyond that – to me they are beautiful – I hope you agree."
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
A double selfie that took 50 years to create
Every year for as long as I can remember and before, a steam rally is held on the Lincolnshire Showground. This carousel is sited in almost the exact same spot, within yards of the one in the photograph of me that I am holding up, which was taken almost 50 years ago. This was taken during the time when I lived in the village of Jerusalem.
Friday, 5 August 2016
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
RAF Stenigot is situated at the dizzy height of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Originally, it was built as a WWII radar station, later becoming a Cold War communications post and today it is a RAF training facility. The Cold War is over and the decommissioned dishes, too big to move, languish in their remoteness.
Sunday, 31 July 2016
Wherever you go you will find the Union and St George’s flags, in front gardens on public facilities, on clothing or even in the middle of nowhere. Is it patriotism, pride, or maybe nostalgia for when Britain was considered *'great'.
Saturday, 30 July 2016
When I was a kid we were pretty fearless, we had no real sense of danger. We used to freely the roam around the lanes, woods and village streets armed with sheath knives that would get you arrested today. What seemed like every other weekend we would go camping in the woods, what is now Birchwood estate. We would use axes, bow saws and various types of cleaver, unsupervised and mostly untrained. We made camp fires and cooked our own food. We climbed to the top of the tallest trees and dared each other to sway in the wind on the thinnest branches. We made Tarzan swings across dykes and tried to impress each other with how daring we could be. In winter we would lightly feel our way across the thin ice of frozen ponds seeing who could cross to other other side, I came a real cropper on that one and was sent to bed without tea. Most kids these days do not have much freedom to roam in the way that we did, to learn through trial and error. Society seems to have sanitised the childhood experience with health and safety, litigation and helicopter parent paranoia. I was heartened to come across at least a remnant of my past, out of sight of the playing field security camera.
Friday, 29 July 2016
1001 uses for an disused phone box. This phone box has been turned into an art gallery by kids. It exhibits fantasy images of fairies and animals cut from magazines and books. In the middle of nowhere it has to be the smallest public gallery anywhere. What a shame there’s no gift shop.
A sea of new cars standing in front of Killingholme oil refinery which will supply fuel throughout their lives. I’m not sure if the image needs text - it is what it is.
The flat surrounding countryside and villages are completely dominated by the oil refinery.
Apart from agriculture, Lincolnshire has very little industry left, Gainsborough and Lincoln used to produce heavy machinery on a large scale. Lincoln prides itself on being the birthplace of the tank. Scunthorpe Steelworks, which has been in decline for decades, Killingholme oil refinery and Siemens turbines are all that is left today.
It strikes me as quite sad that consumerism and fakery has replaced real civic pride in achievement with a nostalgic, rose tinted view of history. Gainsborough’s industrial history was marked by Marshals, from 1848 to 1992, who produced a variety of agricultural machinery from steam engines through to diesel tractors. Today the site of the factory is a shopping centre which retains some the original architectural features. In nostalgic celebration, on a roundabout, stands a fake plastic topiary sculpture of an agricultural steam engine, encircled by cars as though the past is under siege by progress. As with most story telling, truth is a combination of whatever the storyteller makes of it and how the viewer interprets it.