Welcome to Battlefield Vision
But before you read any further I will be unable to take any master-classes until the summer of 2014: the reason is that I have been commissioned by the French Senate to create a major exhibition which will be showing in Les Jardins de Luxembourg in April - August 2014.
Passchendaele, the Somme, Verdun and Ypres: no other landscape defines the shaping of the modern world as the battlefields of northern France. It is here that photography has enabled people across the world and ages to understand the horror and drama of the world wars. Here still, the scars of our history are read upon the landscape.
Battlefield Vision is a unique opportunity for photographers to return to the landscape of humanity’s greatest drama.
The battlefield landscapes of northern France present unique challenges to the photographer. Not here are the tumbling cliffs and elegant mountains usually captured by the landscape photographer. Instead these sparse, pastoral landscapes, demand the photographer to translate the raw history of place through the camera; demand that we learn to create photographic testament to the powerful effect of man’s imprint upon the natural world.
These are the now quiet sites of history, alive still to the imaginative potential of the camera. Here, in long-abandoned trenches, tilled fields, forgotten wire and fledgling copses, the photographer is skilled to depict the arresting and singular emotion of landscapes bearing witness to the heights of human tragedy.
Battlefield Vision is a continuation of the work I have been doing on the battlefields of northern Europe for the past five years. Aided by leading historians, I have been photographing these "battlescapes" , creating a comprehensive photographic documentation of these emotive landscapes.. What began as a personal project will go on display in Paris in Les Jardins de Luxembourg in April - August 2014.
Battlefield Vision brings the dedicated learning of this continuing project – the photographic study of this expansive and hushed landscape – together with my experience of having worked in over sixty countries around the world to provide a unique experience for landscape photographers and battlefield visitors alike to experience the emotion of these truly unique places.