For my Fulbright project, Photographing Imagined Landscapes: The Switzerland of India, I am visiting the northern hill stations of India from Darjeeling to Dalhousie and others in between, all of which lay claim to the landscape of “the Switzerland of India.” I am fascinated by what has happened in this particular region; through tourism, marketing and, in particular, Bollywood filmmaking, another landscape (the Swiss Alps) has been imagined throughout the northern Indian landscape, and in its place an imitation of an imitation has been constructed. I am photographing the cultural confluence of this region at the daybreak of the Indian middle class tourist industry.
— Christine Rogers, Northern India
The Edge of Industry is a cycle of photographs taken at the site of a derelict magnesium works near Hartlepool in the North of England where heavy industry has died off over the past thirty years. These images indirectly reference the death of shipbuilding and metal works, the lack of government action to prevent the North and South of England dividing both economically and socially, creating a generation of workers with no future; directly they show the land has yet to be redeveloped; it remains in a perpetual state of ruin.
With an increasing amount of closures among factories in England these photographs are both a record of the end of a specific industrial area and also a quiet farewell to the past of the North of England.
— Al Palmer, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
Originally from New Jersey, I moved to Montana in 2010 to heal the wounds that are created by living in the most densely populated state and being so isolated from nature. In Montana I feel the land differently each day and record it as I feel it.
— Lauren Grabelle, Bigfork, Montana, USA
I’m looking for the facts of estrangement and impulse.
Trying to photograph the abrasions and remnants that squirm out when circumstance takes a small hold of place. Abrasions that in chorus can be elegant with tenderness and violence, and while disparate, when re-articulated in the new structure a photographic sequence can echo-out or be amplified.
— Robert Chilton, London, United Kingdom
In trying to comprehend my husband’s vulnerability due to a severe depression, I made images of him and a landscape familiar to me. Many of these photographs were made on Block Island, R.I., a place I lived as a child for one year with my father when my parents were divorcing. Block Island is a lively community during the summer but the off season is particularly desolate and windswept. The title of this series, the sea that surrounds us, comes from a love poem by Pablo Neruda and suggests the isolation and protection one can simultaneously experience within a relationship.
— Maureen Drennan, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Beginning in 1763, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed 300 miles of wilderness over the span of four years and ten months, all the while foreshadowing a cultural barrier that will stand the test of time.
I walk the path made by Mason and Dixon looking for the beginning of this country’s compass, in the process, imagining the vision they saw. I photograph this border of cultural distinction at the places of its occurrence, which often appear open-ended and without detail.
Visual indicators of the border reveal themselves to me. Physical deviations within the land, such as a change in the asphalt’s tone, signal where one state ends and the next begins. I always depict more than one state in the photograph, typically with the border directly in the middle and my tripod straddling the division.
I do not photograph road signs. I leave the viewer to identify what is seen. Perhaps there is nothing, just wilderness as Mason and Dixon saw it, before any of it mattered. This border was created before states were states, before the Union was chartered and before the Civil War. What comes of it when a culture self divides its common geographic space? What happens when a culture is delineated and then has to identify as being a part of a new and separate whole?
Boundary lines shape and contain cultural identity by preventing one culture from ingesting the other. This body of work examines the original motive for the Mason and Dixon survey and how the result came to inadvertently shape the regional culture.
— Colin C. Stearns, Brooklyn, New York, USA
The abandoned places have always attracted me by their unexplained energetic saturation against the background of emptiness and absence. These are the segments of space that might disappear if human beings arise on the scene. Their life is short and it is a big deal to witness it.
— Ksenia Yurkova, St. Petersburg, Russia
Working over a twelve-month period in Nottinghamshire, England, we have used high-resolution digital and traditional pinhole photography to explore areas at the interface between natural and synthetic landscape.
The edgelands are a kind of wasteland considered unusable, overlooked, undefined and unattractive. These are neglected, often forgotten areas.
Edgelands, the project, starts to explore what landscape means to us. Land is more than physical landscape and environment. It is unique and has symbolic importance. It has value — perhaps a meaning as significant as its physical embodiment. British landscape and its predominantly manufactured presence affects us physically and emotionally and stimulates us intellectually, even spiritually. Edgelands are landscapes that are connected to human activity both historical and contemporary; tracts of land at the crossing point of the rural and urban.
The underlying theme of the work comes from its engagement with basic human issues of our place in the landscape — how and where we belong.
— Nick Dunmur & Paul Harrison, Nottingham, United Kingdom