Bob Langridge takes a journey through photographic processes to explore the representation, interpretation and narration of landscape in time. He suggests that “making a photograph can be like writing: making an image can be similar to constructing a sentence, just as achieving a coherent group of images involves processes akin to those involved in structuring a coherent statement.”
At a time when a photograph can be taken, uploaded onto the internet and viewed across the world almost instantly, Langridge deliberately chose a slow process to make his images, creating a series of photographs using a pinhole camera that demanded long exposure times. The making of Hell Lane (2017) provided him with an opportunity to spend time immersed in a rural landscape of ‘man-made’ hollow-ways - routes often hidden from view and produced through the centuries-long action of people walking the same path. The photographs were inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s book Holloway which defines its subject as “A sunken path, a deep and shady lane. A route that centuries of footfall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed into the land.”
Influenced by the walking-based practices of artists Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, Langridge notes the many different articulations of the concept of landscape. He cites Fulton’s suggestion that it’s not the walk that is the challenge, but how to depict the journey. Langridge considers process over time as an important element of his approach: it takes time to get to know the Dorset hollow-ways that he has chosen to document and reveal, to consider the light, colours, shapes, textures and movement that are specific to a place. He describes his process as one of “quiet exploration to identify my subject matter and to evolve my connections with and understandings of place, to consider how the landscape connects place to place, person to person and now with then.”
Hell Lane has been exhibited at Free Range 2017 at The Old Truman Brewery in London, New Art West Midlands 2018 at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Hereford College of Arts Alumni 2018 exhibition at the Canwood Gallery, Herefordshire.
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