Over the last 2 years, no matter where we live in the world, everyone had to deal with spending a lot of time together in one place. For me & my family, it was Wanstead flats & the surrounding areas of Epping Forest on the north-east fringes of London.
These images are part of an ongoing project which aims to document how, through the ages, people have used Wanstead Flats & the adjoining forest as refuge, or just a place to find themselves.
Epping Forest, named “The People’s Forest” by Queen Victoria in 1882, is a 2,400 hectare area of ancient woodland. Wanstead Flats is the southernmost part of the Forest where it meets the city. Historically it has been a royal hunting ground & later was common grazing land for the people, stretching back to the Middle Ages. During the ‘Great Plagues of London’ people found refuge in the forest, which seems not dissimilar to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Not been able to work in the first lockdowns, I took myself on long walks, picking up my film camera & carefully shooting a couple of rolls of film at a time. I walked around, trying to find some magic in my surroundings whilst trying to make sense of my life & the current situation.
During the routine of these daily excursions I became attuned to the changing of the seasons, the cycles of death & rebirth that were on full display.