LAUREN JAMES PHOTOGRAPHY
About The Artist

The primary focus of my recent work has been on the interaction between the landscape and the man made. There has always been a battle between the two, and my interest lies in capturing the landscape reclaiming the land from what has been built over it.

My interest in Landscape photography did not emerge until recent years, after studying photographers such as William Christenberry, and how the landscape continuously appears within his work. His kudzu vine images were particularly influential to my practice, as it shows the most extreme examples of the landscape growing over any man made structures to the point where they are almost unrecognizable as buildings and once again become part of the natural landscape with only a hint of the man made items that were there originally were. Farley and Symmons Roberts even suggest that “Left alone long enough, it would in it’s own time, begin to efface us if we were to stand still…how many other demobilized objects must lie out there, swallowed by each summer’s new growth?” (Farley and Symmons Roberts 2011, p104)

In recent months, my interests have been narrowed down to the study of abandoned buildings with different types of plant life growing over it, rather than buildings that are still inhabited, as I believe it shows a more extreme example of how much the landscape can consume the man made when there is no human interaction. I have focused on abandoned buildings and the landscape as, together, they can create very picturesque locations. I chose not to simply document overgrown area, such as empty fields, as there is no uniformity in these areas and can be quite difficult to understand. When the landscape is growing over something, it has a frame to work with or an outline to trace.

The continuous change in the Landscape is another important aspect I am interested in within my work. Due to the ever-changing nature of landscapes, any documentation of a site will instantaneously become a documentation of the past.

My interests did not always lie with Landscape photography, and in the earlier years of my practice my main focus was Portraiture. Until further insight into the techniques of Landscape photographers, my practice continued this way. I used to think that Landscapes were very limiting, and that you could only capture what was in front of you. As my methods and understanding of the subject area have developed I have seen that this is not the case, and that Landscapes encompass a wide variety of photographic opportunities.

References
FARLEY, P., M SYMMONS ROBERTS, 2011. Edgelands. Jonathan Cape

FUQUA, P., S. BIVER, 2010. FACES: Photography and the Art of Portraiture. Focal Press

MABEY, R., 2010. The Unofficial Countryside. Little Toller Books


Bibliography
Books
FARLEY, P., M SYMMONS ROBERTS, 2011. Edgelands. Jonathan Cape

FUQUA, P., S. BIVER, 2010. FACES: Photography and the Art of Portraiture. Focal Press

MABEY, R., 2010. The Unofficial Countryside. Little Toller Books

SOUTHAM, J., 2007. The Painter’s Pool. Nazraeli Pr

TALLING, P., 2008. Derelict London. Random House Books


Websites
5B4, 2009. Handbuch Der Wildwachsenden Großstadtpflazen [online] [viewed 14 May 2012]. Available from: http://5b4.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/handbuch-der-wildwachsenden.html

ART TO GO, 2011. Recording Change with a Camera [online] [viewed 14 May 2012]. Available from: http://www.artbma.org/educators/atg/pdf/ATG_03-11.pdf

KEVIN BAUMAN. 100 Abandoned Houses [online] [viewed 10 April 2012]. Available from: http://www.100abandonedhouses.com/

PAUL TALLING, 2012. Derelict London [online] [viewed 27 April 2012]. Available from: http://www.derelictlondon.com/home_page.htm

SWEET JUNIPER, 2009. Feral Houses [online] [viewed 16 April 2012]. Available from: http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2009/07/feral-houses.html