East Keswick Encountered

I presented images which I had made in and around the village of East Keswick in West Yorkshire at a conference on 'Visualising The Rural' at University of Cumbria in Carlisle in July 2013. The images were shown in the form of an AV sequence as below (Click on the arrow in the centre to start)

The history of East Keswick goes back to the Doomsday Book. For centuries it was a small, somewhat insignificant collection of tenant farmers and market gardeners. However across the latter half of the 20th century it was transformed into a much sought after dormitory for the affluent professionals working in Leeds, Harrogate and York.

The work explores a banality and irreverence in contemporary life and which contrasts with the pastoral idyll of the imagination, by setting it alongside an encounter with an area of seemingly banal everyday flora - Ox Close Wood. The work interweaves the two sets of images together into single account in a search, not for an unsatisfiable nostalgia for a long lost landscape nor the melancholic analysis of the post-modern, but, I hope, a reconstructionist exploration of an enlarged ecological perspective – a perspective which I would argue is essential if we are to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century.