Harena Now investigates the global sand crisis through an alternative photographic process and digital manipulation.
It is part of my wider interest in how humans impact on the world in which we live.
My motivation for this work is two-fold. Firstly, I aim to raise the profile of this lesser known environmental issue that is having dire consequences not only on eco-systems but human life too. Secondly, I want to investigate how the use of non-documentary photography, when used to promote environmental and/or humanitarian issues, can influence action.
Some experts predict that due to the booming demand for sand in industries such as construction and beach re-nourishment, sand may run out. That seems impossible for such a ubiquitous material.
It also seems unimaginable that this has also led to a growth in sand mafias, and people have lost their homes, livelihoods and even their lives.
To minimise my own photographic footprint, I have opted to use a camera-less process without chemical solutions, creating my abstract images at coastal locations, using sand, sunlight and sometimes seawater.
Harena is the Latin word for sand. It also symbolises sandy places such as the seashore but also an arena/place of contest. As the developing environmental/humanitarian issues surrounding our use of sand is most definitely a battle, for those trying to survive and make a living, for the wildlife and habitats caught up in the process, for those trying to determine a solution, it is apt that Harena signifies the material (sand) and implies conflict.
The Harena Now images meld various sources of inspiration from the passage of time to geology, the microscopic to the vast, anthropocentric to ecocentric ideologies, and the past to the present.
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth”. Rachel Carson.
To find out more about why I am researching this topic, visit:
This series intertwines stories of mythical goddesses of nature with the story of plastic. The innocence of a child’s plastic doll seems incongruous with the impact we are having on our planet through our over reliance on this material. It seeks answers to why, with the knowledge we have, we can not lessen our usage on a global scale.
I am passionate about alternative photographic processes, particularly the cyanotype. Some of the images shown are from my #365cyanotypechallenge project (Sept 2017-18).
Others are a mix of residency, commission and personal creations using techniques such as cyanotype, anthotype and instant film lifts.
Portraits and Editorial
In addition to making camera-less images, I also love taking portraits and creating editorial photographs.
Humans and Dogs of St Agnes
Inspired by Humans of New York and my passion for pooches, this project showcases the bonds between people and their dogs.
I hope to create a photo-book of the images and stories to be used to raise funds for local dog rescues.
I use a variety of alternative processes such as instant film lifts, the cyanotype process, anthotype and lumen printing; I am a keen iPhone/photo app photographer too.
In addition to still images, I also make short films.
The images include my Left Litter lane project. Started in 2017 while walking my dog, I revisited a small lane in my village each week for about two months to photograph the hidden hedgerow litter.
Whether discarded deliberately or accidentally fallen from dustbin collections, I used my mobile phone and the Hipstamatic app to create grids of images of this forgotten rubbish.
It feels melancholic to see these item slowly fade away. This is a project I aim to return to.
Cornwall Crafts Association WWI Centenary film
In 2016, I was commissioned by Cornwall Crafts Association, in conjunction with the National Trust, to produce a moving image showcase of the work of some of the artists taking part in an exhibition to mark the centenary of the war waged across Europe, Asia and Africa from 1914 to 1918.