“I am going to document the land usage of the estate (through old photos and my own modern-day pictures) to show the changing uses overtime of the rural land used for leisure, agriculture and environmental purposes.” This is a line taken from my original proposal at the beginning of this module. I have developed my ideas a considerable amount since then, arguably the most development happening with my brackets; (through old photos and my own modern-day pictures). The use of archival images has gone from a secondary idea to the primary feature of the entire project with the combination of modern-day images happening within the same frame rather than a piece of supporting work.
‘Transience’ intended to look at the landscape of memory with an element of loss featuring within the frame – the landscape of loss, the archival images trapped in the past as I document the landscape around them blossoming with age, a constant fabric within society. Ownership doesn’t endure; the landscape is the constant, the fragility of human existence apparent in every re-photograph. By using re-photography, ‘Transience’ aims to highlight how people come and go, each generation sculpting the British landscape to suit their needs and desires, for it only to be changed again once they depart this earth. They are a memory upon a land they once deemed their own, the endurance of the environment emphasising the temporary existence and fragility of humanity.
This project shall be shot at a country estate in Devon seeped in history – Escot Park. The Kennaway family have been shaping the land of the estate for generations to suit the requirements of the day, be it for entertaining the royals, keeping up with fashions, entertaining and impressing guests, making farm produce, accommodating evacuees or in its currents state, open to the public as an award-winning family attraction. Each current owner has had to alter this “natural” environment to accommodate their lifestyle, knowing that the landscape shall endure beyond their years. Yet, for their fleeting existence in this extraordinary environment, they make it their home for as long as they live and leave their mark upon the land.
‘Transience’ alludes to the fragility and temporary existence of human presence on the landscape and the environment’s ability to endure as a constant fabric upon the earth’s surface. As generations come and go, people mould the land to suit their needs and create their own stories upon it, only for them to become a distant memory and later an archival piece of history.