4 September 2019
In Februay March 2019 I was lucky enough to be offered a residency in Cornwall, in a wonderful flat and darkroom with a 4 x 5 Devere enlarger with a drop bed, enabling me to accomplish 30 x 40 inch Black and white fibre prints.
It was a wonderful period of five weeks thyat I could work uninterrupted. Deving the sheet film at 5 am or late at night. I could set my own agenda and become totally involved in the project.
I had no idea how I would use this residency when I arrived in Cornwall, though very quickly the idea of August Sander, ‘A face of Our Time’ populated my thoughts. The fundamental connection is, that we are experiencing in some ways, similar times, that Europe was experiencing between the two world war.
I was not only using a large format camera. Linhof Master V, but the lens was an extremly rare and old Schneider Kreuznach 150mm. F: 2.8 uncoated
lens that came from a job lot from Los Alamos, complete in a aiplane mount. Could this lens have witnessed testingfs in the ‘Manhatten Project’ Ironic that it was a German lens.
“During the referendum, which was held in June 2016, Cornwall voters came out in force to have their say.
The turnout was an impressive 77% with 182,665 people (56.5%) voting to leave and 140,540 (43.5%) voting to remain.
People in Cornwall have changed their mind about wanting to leave the European Union, according to a new survey.
Asked how they would vote if the referendum was rerun tomorrow, 49% of participants said they would vote to remain in the EU, with 33% saying they would vote to leave.” 1.
Cornish Brexit (working title) was completed between 20thJanuary and 1stMarch 2019. During this period the debates continued and The Prime Minister attempted to get the Governments vote through Parliament so article 50 could be completed by the given date of 29thMarch. However, what has transpired is that an extension has been requested and as to date all the Brexit proposals that the Government has voted on have been rejected.
Cornish Brexit, as a concept has deliberately referenced the project completed in between the two world wars by August Sanders ‘Face of Our Time’, which explored the political and socio economic position of Germany in between the two world wars.
It has also been a conscious decision, that of the sixteen images nine images include women and feature . Since August Sander project ‘Face of Our Time’, there has ben a considerable shift and recognition as to the importance and equal value to society that women contribute, therefore, filling a past void.
Today Europe and the UK is again unstable; Nationalism, xenophobia, unemployment, social instability, lack of housing, education and medical facilities.
‘Cornish Brexit’ is a series of large portraits (30 x 40 inches) in Black and white, incorporating a cross section of the West Cornish Community who will be affected by the current turmoil and uncertainty that we are currently experiencing.
Why Cornwall? Cornwall has a history of annexation from central Government and as such offers a unique perspective. Foreign workers compliment the farming community. Apart from this Cornwall is quintessentially British and could not really be described as ‘metropolitan’
Cornwall has been heavily subsidized by the EU. And yet initially voted to Brexit. It therefore seems pertinent to sample Cornwall.