Documenting Britain


For Documenting Britain, my work will centre around photographing areas of Scotland that could be categorized as Edgelands, where the urban sprawl meets nature. Visual inspiration comes from The New Topographics; my work is concerned with geometric shapes, formal composition and employs minimal or no post-processing.

Slept on your arm again

You wake up in fits around the thing, try to shake some life into it. Reach with the good, other arm for wedding ring, phone and glasses, in that order. A shower, quick. A coffee, quickly after. Out on the balcony to just point your eyes at the gulls swooping and banking in thin air. Cigarette/s, squinting into the lazy sun. A few planes sluggishly make their way out over May Isle. Picking out the liveries: 50% orange tail-fins and Cooper Black. You think back to American Fiction 1920-1960, the best part of your first degree.

Nothing happens. They don’t know what to do with their time … What else is there? They watch the waves come in at Venice. There wasn’t any ocean where most of them came from, but after you’ve seen one wave, you’ve seen them all. The same is true of the airplanes at Glendale. If only a plane would crash once in a while so that they could watch the passengers being consumed in a “holocaust of flame,” as the newspapers put it. But the planes never crash.

Their boredom becomes more and more terrible … The sun is a joke.

Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust

Across the road, beyond the used car lot, great spuming mists of spray kick up over compact two doors and greyish company Mondeos at Bubbles Hand Car Wash. Traffic grinds along towards Portobello and the bypass, the occasional 5 second burst of radios Forth, Two, One – there, a sunglassed man with Queen’s Greatest Hits leaking through an open passenger window – punctuates the low din that starts at 7:30 and does not diminish for 2 hours. You cannot sleep on the balcony for it, despite the warming sun of summer that made you believe you could, one night in July.

You should empty the ashtray, do some recycling, change out of pajamas and last night’s band t-shirt. You’ve got a new camera. You should use that.

It’s spring, at last.