Exploring our relationship with the natural world—how it is shaped by human presence, and how that can rebound on us.

 

We live in a world shaped more by human hand than by nature. The roofless factory that is the East Anglian Fens epitomises the way industrialised agriculture and transport networks pattern the landscape. Two lines of pylons march across the area around the town of Ely and its glorious cathedral, the Ship of the Fens, feeding our energy habit. I am intrigued by our ambivalence towards them and the power stations and wind-farms that service this addiction.

Modern travel, within and between countries, makes the world seem more accessible, but distances us from it. One sideof this is the no-man's-land of car-parks, retail deserts and checkpoints that punctuate our journeys—the border crossings, terminals and service stations, where we find ourselves hanging around, passing time or waiting…for a boat, plane or train, or a green light.

Another is the emigrant's backward look. The burden of so many songs which I have come to through my Irish wife, Sally. Not nostalgic, but sensitive to the small things and moments that can encapsulate a particular place and allow us to be in two worlds at the same time.

Beyond this I am interested in the uniqueness of place : the fine grain of the world we construct around us, and where we fit in as the blandness of consumerism erodes cultural difference and identity.