Much of life is uncertain. One could argue that the only sure thing in life is death and that nothing else matters beyond our actions. I’ve been thinking about that idea a lot lately and it’s inspired a photography collection called Memento Mori, which taps into the symbology that death is inevitable and is a reminder of our own mortality.
2020 will be remembered as one of the strangest years in recent memory. On a personal level, it gave me more time to pursue new interests by embracing photography and starting Photography Fables.
It’s certainly a year of reflections and that happened to tie in with a theme that I’ve found I enjoy incorporating into my own photos. Reflections show us the world through a different perspective.
Whether it’s through a window or a mirror, there’s something new to be shown and a fresh story to tell. Here is a collection of my favourite reflection photos that I took throughout 2020.
We all feel some kind of connection to the place we grew up. Whether in a city or a small town, we’re shaped by our surroundings and associate certain memories with the places we were born. I think it’s important to showcase the places we grew up because each of us has our own unique perspective and photography is a powerful medium to showcase these sensations.
The town of Stretford in Manchester is where I grew up. Known as the home of Manchester United football club and famous names like L.S Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst, John Rylands and Morrisey, Stretford has often been overshadowed by these connections.
The town itself has been linked to disrepair and negligence, the ugly step cousin to the trendier districts of Chorlton, Didsbury and Altrincham. In recent years, there’s been a push to revitalise the area.
The following collection shows Stretford as it is, with old architecture mingling with the new developments that will shape the future.
The year 2020 will be remembered as a year of extremes. A time of unprecedented change, upheaval and uncertainty. A year of communities pulling together, stubborn optimism and people fighting for what they believe in. It’s against this emotional backdrop that an air of rebellion has risen up across the world.
The concept of rebellion has inspired this photo collection, which features images from around Manchester that convey feelings of umbrage, political backlash, pride and hope for the future.
The pub can mean a lot of things to different people. To some, it’s a place of community. To others, it’s the setting to get drunk with friends on the weekend and celebrate. Pubs are at the centre of everything. They are a venue for stories, memories, tears, laughter, joy, worries and human connection.
Manchester has no shortage of pubs and in this collection I’ve taken photos of some of the city’s most recognised and quirky taverns.
Longford Park in Stretford is a special place to me. It’s a place of fond childhood memories, of running around in the grass, of playing hide and seek, of spending time with my grandparents. It’s a reminder of simpler times and whenever I go there, I recall those memories and am glad the park is still standing today.
As a historical landmark, Longford Park has great importance as well. It was the home of John and Enriqueta Rylands, two of Manchester’s wealthiest cotton merchants, who contributed a great deal to the city and its people. They lived in Longford Hall, a structure that speaks of the local history and architecture.
In this photo collection, I’ve captured various parts of Longford Park as a way to bring my memories into reality.
The Vikings believed in concepts that existed outside the material world. Gods, magic and myths mingled with the everyday of raiding, farming, living, fighting and loving. Vikings sought to change their fate and raise their fortunes and a concept that taps into that mentality is seidr (prounounced say-der).
In Old Norse, seidr translates to cord or string. It’s a magic-based ideology that looks at fate as a flowing, malleable object. It’s about symbolically changing the course of one’s life and bringing new events into reality.
To do this, seidr practitioners relied on specific objects to bring them closer to the gods. They needed to enter a trance in order to enter the world of the spirits.
The following photo collection tells the story of seidr through Norse objects and viking runes.
Pumpkins are a sign of transition. They are a fruit of the in-between, caught between a change of seasons, caught between life and death. As the days grow shorter and the darkness stronger, pumpkins are heralds of something ancient and primal. Pumpkins are gateways between this world and the next.
October is one of my favourite months of the year. It’s a time of seasonal change, of shorter days, darker nights and bright colours. It’s a time when the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is meant to be thinner and there’s a lot of creativity to be mined from that sensation.
Sinister things can happen in the woods. Forests instil an ancient kind of fear. It makes us imagine stalking predators and monsters hiding in bushes. This concept inspired me to create a collection of photographs and a story called Haunted Woods.