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An exchange residency and exhibition project with Tomoko Esashi in Japan & Scotland
Joint exhibition Crawford Arts Centre St Andrews Scotland.2003

The images in the series 'Being There' utilise the touristic practice of the group photograph, a time when people gather and document their presence in a specific place and time. This usually requires a backdrop of special significance, a mountain, river, valley or tree . Why? I wonder what special needs drive us to document our presence in these places, and I consider the implication of the photographic process itself in this practice, the domination and control by the lens. I question also what special desire drives our need for an abstracted almost philosophical connection with the land which I found to be particularly evident in Japanese society. Many of the group photographs in 'Being there' were taken in the context of discussion on these issues, in Japan, Scotland and Australia. They document the real event of being there together at that time, but more importantly their grouping around, and interaction with the Blue Sky banner, suggests the communal need for an elusive idealised place in our lives whether it be a place of respite or refuge, or a fundamental need for re-connection with an increasingly diminished elemental world.

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