‘Earthworks’ creates a photographic study of the Northumbrian allotment; repurposing the energy used by its owners and the rituals that take place in cultivating soil for future use, the ‘earthworks’. It concerns local committees in Northumberland, conversation, social positivity and the importance of green spaces.

The act of taking the image is a constant pilgrimage of returning home, combined with the use of ‘slow’ photography where I am able to be with the land. The image-taking has many purposes; ritual, pilgrimage, meditation and purely walking and talking with family members and members of the community linking to such land. I use this time as research, where conversations take place of history and locality. In discussing roots and soil, Crouch and Ward state that “for many of us, the only experience of land is as an observer…in the allotment, people participate in using the earth”, in order to endorse myself in the roots of this exploration, I became part of it. I made a rhythm of making sure time was spent ritualistically photographing the allotment every day over weekends in Northumberland. The land that I work with is often at risk or undergoing change – in this scenario, I worked with two allotments – Amble West, and Tommy’s Field in Morpeth. During this project, I interviewed plot-holders, took video footage and created collections of documentation relating to the land – council documents, news articles, Northumbrian poetry. Some of these images are photographic prints, taken on a large format 5x4 camera, whilst others are photopolymer gravure prints, a form of intaglio printmaking.

David Crouch and Colin Ward (1997). The Allotment: Its Landscape and Culture. Five Leaves Publication.