London Park Landscapes
Many artists have used London’s parks as open air galleries for sculptures, installations, music and drama. In photography, they are often a backdrop for portraits of people enjoying the outdoor world. It's far less common to see the park as a subject in its own right however, and this is what I’ve set out to do, not as a documentary photographer or social commentator but as a dedicated landscape artist.
What might seem like a predominantly urban landscape of busy roads, shops and houses all gradually and inevitably leading to the central London metropolis is, when seen from above, a sea of trees and open spaces. From the great green estate of Brockwell Park to the historic grounds of Crystal Palace and the hills and woods of Dulwich that so dramatically overlook the distant city skyline, south London is full of beautifully preserved miniature landscapes, where veteran trees, elegant architecture and pockets of wilderness separate the still recognisable towns that have over the years become our districts and boroughs. Further still into civilisation, monuments and palaces rise amongst verdant gardens in central London's Royal Parks, where minutes from some of the busiest roads in Europe, a lucky tourist might find themselves in a rural idyll, entirely out of sight of roads and houses. Even if this temporary respite from urban life is too short-lived, the expansive wild parks of Richmond and Bushy are a short distance away, ancient English landscapes where nature is still almost entirely left to its own devices.
The one thing I hope to achieve by photographing our parks, besides displaying their intrinsic aesthetic value, is to reveal how the powerful forces of nature and the changing seasons interact with the land, the sole elements largely untamed and unchanged by progressive urbanisation. If I can successfully capture these interactions through uncomplicated photography, using no melodrama other than that in which nature chooses to indulge, I hope I can help inspire a greater respect for London’s open spaces and like artists have often done for other environments around the world, further the cause of their conservation.