LANDSCAPES OF THE HEART: Returning to Morecambe
The genesis of my photographic life was on the sea front in Morecambe where, during a long summer vacation, I was employed as a "Smudger" to photograph holiday makers from the West Riding mill towns. In May of this year I returned for the first time to Morecambe and the studio that had employed me all those years ago.
Reviewing my photographs I was struck by how they disclosed as much about me as about Morecambe. In particular the pictures evoked strong feelings about our daughter Alice, who had died in 2007. On the one hand the town had a run down melancholic feeling that corresponded with my continuing sadness at Alice's death. On the other hand pictures looking seawards towards the bay, and the distant Lake District, disclosed a transcendent beauty, which reminded me of how she was still present in our lives, despite being fundamentally absent.
By returning to an origin was I re-learning to look? Could I detect felt traces of Alice through my responses to the landscape?