Faultlines (2015 - 2019) bears witness to the contested landscapes within the UK Oil and Gas Authority onshore licence blocks scheduled for shale gas exploration. The work uses photography and testimony to investigate sense of place and belonging at a time of tension between local communities and the contentious method of unconventional fossil fuel extraction known as 'fracking'. Faultlines is an Arts Council England funded collaborative project with ecologist and writer Helen Baczkowska.
Cycling and walking throughout the licence blocks, over 30 hours of recorded interviews from anti-fracking protesters have been collected. Voices from Lancashire, Yorkshire, Scotland, South Wales and the South of England gather to describe how local landscape engenders a sense of identity. They recount the fears of industrialisation of the countryside, of forming resilient communities and of disillusionment with the democratic process. The resulting photographs and text are informed by the stories gathered; the grid configuration of licence blocks frames the fragments of landscape, revealing layers of emotional and aesthetic attachment.
This work would not have been possible without the kind support and hospitality of the many people met over the past few years.
Please click here for Helen’s contextual essay.