Reflections on walking
Walking is an act of discovery, an ongoing experiment to create our own personal maps of the places, signs and pathways of the urban landscape. It’s an aimless exploration that delights in the serendipitous – the chance observations that we stumble across.
Through this aimless ramble we can subvert functional walking with its limited trajectory of point A to B, to create an individual space of the sights, memories and sounds of specific locations – to carve out our personal cityscape.
Each of the photo essays posted to Le Flâneur are created around a series of ‘walks’, each defined by geographic location, circumscribed by the structure of maps. However these constraints only serve to provide a departure point to delineate my own experience of the city.
As an active pedestrian I seek to reclaim the city from those who seek to impose a narrow and static definition of the urban space – to re-discover the winding paths and byways of the organic city.
I have been making photographs – on and off – for about 20 years. Over this time my work has evolved into a variety of strands – from reportage to landscape.
Le Flâneur is my alter ego – the roving eye exploring the urban spaces I inhabit. My inspiration is the idea of the metropolitan wanderer – ‘le flâneur’, conceived by Baudelaire and later writers. You can read here how le flâneur has come to be associated with a particular way of experiencing and responding to the urban environment.
The other photographic site I manage – gum bichromate photography, presents another aspect to my work – and my research and practise in an early photographic process, gum bichromate. This work is the antithesis of the images posted here – with the gum bichromate process it can take a week to produce a single print, a working method that demands a consideration of both the image and its representation as a tactile physical print.
You can also find more of my photographs on my Flickr site
2009 Paint it White LIP Shoreditch Group Exhibition, Red Lion, Hoxton, London
2009 ‘Hand-made photographs in the digital age’ Clifford-Thames Gallery London
2006 ‘Past is Present’ – The Laboratorium, Rochester New York
2004 London Independent Photography 16th Annual Exhibition, Cotton Centre London
1998 ‘Terre Aborigène’ – Espace Photographie – Paris
1996 ‘Cherished Objects’ – AD163 Gallery – Sydney Australia
1985 ‘I Came Across a Broad Highway’ – Developed Image Gallery Adelaide South Australia
1983 ‘Baragoola North Head’ – Images Gallery Sydney Australia
London Independent Photography Magazine, Winter 2008, Memories
Alternative Photography: Art & Artists, Edition 1 Malin Fabbri, AlternativePhotography.com: Sweden, 2006