‘Black Dots’ is an exploration of mountain bothies and bothy culture throughout the United Kingdom.
Far from civilisation and mostly accessible only by foot, bothies are secluded mountain shelters scattered across the British Isles and tirelessly maintained by volunteers from the Mountain Bothies Association. Unlocked and free to use, they provide a refuge from the vast terrain that surrounds them and have become an iconic feature of the British landscape over the past fifty years. Bothies are synonymous with the outdoor experience in the UK and from day trippers to mountaineers, the growing community of bothy-users is hugely diverse.
‘Black Dots’ is the result of almost three years spent traversing our most remote landscapes in an attempt to better understand what these buildings are, where they’re located and the culture that surrounds them. Drawn not only by the primitive beauty of the bothies and the landscapes they sit within, the work also investigates the human element to the bothy story, capturing the faces of those who trek for hours to temporarily inhabit these spaces, many miles from the nearest settlements.
As the network of bothies passes it’s 50th year, my hope is that the work will generate a wider dialogue celebrating the relationship between man and the wilderness in the 21st century.
'Black Dots' was supported by Rab Equipment
Knowle West – the '5000 island forest'. One hundred streets, five thousand homes and twelve thousand people. Designed on garden city principles in the 1930s and built on a hill surrounded by wild green space, its utopian and geographical inheritance continues to shape the neighborhood today – creating dislocation and isolation for the rest of the city. These images explore how Knowle West sits within the urban landscape, its improvised architectural additions, and the quietly radical residents.
'The 5000 Island Forest' was commissioned by Knowle West Media Centre and FotoNow as part of the South West Graduate Photography Prize 2013.
"...military training and a national park a discordant, incongruous and inconsistent; but I cannot accept that they are incapable of living together."
Lady Sharp, 1977
'The Militarisation of Dartmoor' investigates Dartmoor National Park's long and complex relationship with the military, which has existed for thousands of years long before the areas official designation as a National Park in 1951. The work embraces this militarisation as part of Dartmoor's cultural heritage whilst also acknowledging the unfortunate damage caused to the environment as a result of these military practices.
Work on the project began in early 2012, at the very beginning of a renewed 21 year license from the Duchy of Cornwall, who lease the land to the Ministry of Defence. As British troops withdraw from a conflict role in Afghanistan in 2014 and return to extensive and rigorous training, the shape and appearance of the Dartmoor Training Area, and indeed that of the entire Defence Estate will be manipulated further to accommodate the needs of a contemporary fighting force.