Growing up, family time was always squeezed in and around the family’s busy grocery business. In 2004 my parents retired, bought a farmhouse in a quiet village in rural North West France and made a family home. The abundance of time and space in this new setting, encouraged the existing connection between each of us.
The following images reflect my relationship with my family in a space where home had never felt so unfamiliar. Experiencing the sanctuary and familiarity of home juxtaposed by a culturally foreign space created a precious experience and enabled me to see my family more objectively.
It made a place for our family to appreciate and spend unusual amounts of quiet time together out of the context of our everyday lives;away from work, friends and routine; to take notice of the dynamics that exist within each of our relationships and to appreciate the simple comfort of togetherness that exists between us.
La Getiere | Winter
The 2001 terror attack in New York awoke the Western world from a false sense of security spurring the growth of a preparation and planning strategy that the information technology and business world term ‘Disaster Recovery’. All over the UK office spaces are set aside in preparation for disaster, whether it be terrorism, flood, fire or any other hurdle that could suspend or seriously affect business.
Space is set up to replicate a company’s working office, from its furniture and facilities to its technology and communication system. Data is backed up to the replicated site at the end of each working day so that the Disaster Recovery Suite is completely up to date and ready to go within 24 – 48 hours. In most cases, these spaces are never likely to be used. Out of our need for these ‘just in case’ spaces we have created a new place where nothing really occurs.
Individual objects wait in a paused state. Machines buzz with electricity and dust gathers. The air is still and and absent yet charged. The spaces take on an identity that’s foreign and disconnected. A manifestation of human thought; a possible future; on standby trying to locate itself.
Qatar is located in the Persian Gulf and borders Saudi Arabia. The country had been relatively poor and dependent on Pearl fishing until the discovery of a deep gas reserve off the Qatari coast in the late 1940’s. This discovery dramatically changed the state of the country.
With this new found wealth, the people have provided themselves with free health care, education, land to build on, and receive a reported $5000 per month from the day they are born. The people are using this money, generated by gas and oil, to rapidly transform their country.
The following pictures are taken outside of the city in a kind of liminal space. Space that sits on a border or crossroads, where human settlement – whether it be marked by a simple sign post, survey mark or suburban town – grapples to claim an area of the vast and dominant desert. These pictures begin to explore space as it turns into place. They are an attempt to capture glimpses of this transition as the first signs of an identity begin to appear.