Martineau Gardens project – intentions
My photography over the past few years has involved selecting a location and developing a series of images which hopefully reflects both my experience and also projects something of the personality of the place. This has included Kidderminster town centre and the upper platform at Smethwick Galton Bridge train station.
Martineau Gardens is a place both beautiful and fascinating, a real jewel for visitors to experience, especially so close to the city centre. In part I hope to celebrate that with my photography. I also see Martineau as an opportunity to develop my recent work further. I plan to visit the gardens over the next year or so and photograph through the seasons.
I have become to focus more and more on memory in my work. Some of these go back to childhood experiences. Photographing at Martineau Gardens reminds me of some of these experiences. Childhood times were often spent in back gardens looking intimately at the flora, discovering the insect life and even gathering spiders’ webs in folded over twigs. This was a time of wonder, where the world began to open up to a very inquiring young mind. I hope in part to re-discover that wonder and make images which reflect that experience.
My first few visits to the gardens have thrown up other fascinating possibilities. I am enthralled by things which have been left by gardeners, volunteers or visitors to the gardens. Looking at these and making images creates echoes and leaves a residue of human involvement. Watching the gardens through the seasons is an exciting prospect. The beginnings of the project have opened up a few paths, I’m sure other possibilities will arise as time passes.
There are many people who work in and visit the gardens throughout the year. Some have a very intimate relationship with the place, maybe more than I can express in my photography. I hope my photographs do their experience justice. I will also attempt to balance a personal response to the gardens with something which relates to peoples experiences generally.