I am one of those lucky enough to have grown up in a declining, industrial Northern town in England, albeit one with a little notoriety, due to the containment of a curse word within its name. I have since visited, and will continue to visit, many towns like it. I would like to think that we are all shaped and influenced by our surroundings, however it seems to be part of the British DNA to be cynical about such places, and unless we are told something is beautiful, it is inevitably a “shithole.”
I fell in love with photography as it enabled me to make what I thought were beautiful images, and this is still what, deep down, keeps it so close to my heart. However, am I trying to capture something beautiful within something so often considered the opposite, to show that beauty and worth can be found anywhere? Or am I trying to look for beauty where none can be found? Do I love this Island, or am I trying to expose its weaknesses and strange principles? I’m not sure, but I’m enjoying my efforts to find out, so I’ll keep finding crappy towns to wander, and maybe someday I’ll discover the answer.
— Jonathan Salmon, Bradford, Yorkshire, United Kingdom