September 01, 2021
The World Stopped Turning And You Turned A Blind Eye
‘The World Stopped Turning And You Turned A Blind Eye’ is a collection of photographs made during the period of national and local lockdowns through 2020 and into early 2021. Its function was primarily as an exercise in daily photograph-making, but soon turned into a broader project that simultaneously allowed my partner and I to connect to nature, when we were able to connect to little else physically, and educated us about the sincere neglect of the outdoors.
For the little time we were able to enjoy ourselves outside, we were extremely grateful. My partner Manon developed her interest in foraging and using naturally occurring plants we could find locally. The lens often follows her through this curious exploration whilst she becomes closer and closer to the earth. In this time, Manon completely transformed my perspective of the area along with our experience of the pandemic. We were able to find new growth and hold it in our hands, giving us strength and momentum to continue. The project lives vicariously through her and the constant wonder that is instilled in her by the natural world at our fingertips.
However, as we explored within the confinements we were prescribed, we found upsetting evidence of others’ neglect of the outside world. The parks, great rivers and seaside around Preston, where we were living at the time; places that seem so sacred within a city that we expect them to be absolutely pristine, but such was not the case. We found litter, discarded fishing wire, bikes thrown in rivers and vandalism all about the city and as the summer opened, things got worse.
The series envelops not only our experience of our local green areas and the sanctuary they provided during those desperate times, but the journeys to and from them in which we found moments of calm and discovery, like saving a bumblebee on a busy footpath, or noting a flower’s growth since our last walk. A looming sense of the surreal flits between the lines of the obvious, where human power and weakness contradict.
I hope to self-publish the work as a zine later this year.
By Dan Briston