30/6/19 Portishead

Film 5, 35mm

Film 4, 120

Film 4, 120 – Resalted


Experimenting with the C41 Process

An integral part of my proposed project is that the resulting images must create and maintain an agency between location, myself as artist and my memories and the final image outcome. The common feature across this project is the sea, so I will be experimenting with methods of embedding the sea into the final images. During my previous project I had enjoyed the slower pace of analogue photography and the more considered approach to image making it encouraged in me. For this reason my final project will also be based within analogue photography, this time using colour film in medium and 35mm formats. My intention is to add the seawater to the development process which will hopefully have an effect on the colour negatives, thereby linking location to final image.

To get started with I purchased a C41 colour film processing kit. The reasoning behind this purchase was to allow me to experiment with adding recovered seawater to the development process which I would not be able to do with commercial processing. The kit recommended that all three pre-packed chemicals should be heated to a temperature of 25 degrees. To do this, I created a hot water bath in my kitchen sink and monitored the temperature with a thermometer.

My first shoot was at Brean Down in North Somerset. Due to its close proximity to my home in Bristol, it is an area I have been to several times before. Accessing the water at Brean can be quite difficult due to a fast changing tide and huge mud flats. I managed to recover some seawater from a tidal rock pool in a plastic bottle.

Test 1

The purpose of this 35mm test was to create a control to compare my seawater experiments against. This 35mm film was processed exactly as the manufactures recommended. The results were slightly grainier than I had anticipated but I can attribute this to the scanning process. The images are generally quite consistent and are they are useful as a process control.

Test 2

Also shot at Brean Down on the same day, my second film was the start of my experimentations with the recovered seawater. For this test, once the film was loaded into the developing tank, I soaked it in seawater for one hour prior to development.

The resulting images certainly displayed a difference to the control film. The images showed less contrast and more grain, together with some shift in colour when compared against the first control images.

Whilst I was pleased that my guess that the inclusion of seawater would have an effect on the images was correct, I felt that I wanted the seawater to have a more profound effect. Experimentation will continue.

Test 3

I decided to reuse the processed film from my second test again. This time I washed the negatives again in seawater and then allowed them to air dry. This process has allowed the water to slowly evaporate leaving behind crystals of salt on the images. The presence of saltwater on the negatives has confused the scanner and the resulting scans look totally different to the previous images.

The salt remaining on the negatives makes each of the images unique and links it to the location it was captured in. I like this totally unpredictable effect on the images but now I am beginning to feel the 35mm images are too small in terms of scale.

AD7800 – Major Project Proposal

The Draw of the Sea

It is said that once a person has lived near the coast, that it is very difficult to live elsewhere. There is an invisible lure to the sea that drives us to be near it, beyond the practicalities of location. The openness and natural light of the coast provides us with an unparalleled feeling of space and freedom, and fosters a unique connection to the coast within us. This is far removed from the closed containment felt living within the urban environment. The notion of “salt in the blood” is easy to comprehend for those who has spent their life on and around the coast. Many people that live inland will conduct an annual ritual visit to the sea in the form of a holiday to satisfy the draw that it presents. The sea presents a draw to us all.

This personal project will consist of a series of land and seascape images that celebrate my own invisible draw to the coast. Contemplating and reflecting on personal memory and recollection, the project will be based around areas of the coast that I have lived in at different phases of my life and will be split across three specific geographic areas. These areas are south-west Cornwall around Falmouth, south Devon around Teignmouth and Dawlish, and the north Somerset coast on the Bristol Channel. The images will include the sea, the foreshore and surrounding hinterland areas that particularly resonate with me, my memories and recollections.

The project will continue and extend on my work in AD7803 by creating an agency between the location, my own personal experiences and the resulting images. The photographs will be captured using analogue film-based photography and will incorporate water, in a physical sense, into the outcome images by using recovered seawater in the development processes. The project will explore ways to embed the coast and sea into the images through the development process. The resulting negatives will be scanned and printed digitally with the intention of producing a collection of exhibition prints and potentially also a book.



Proposed Timescales

A very rough outline of proposed activity.

June 15th – July 15th 2019

Research and testing phase using local test locations.


July 15th – August 15th 2019

Main production phase, revisiting and shooting areas of the coast within Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.


August 15th – August 31st 2019

Development and scanning.


September 1st – October 31st 2019

Editing of initial images and further shooting at weekends as required.


29th October – 2nd November 2019 (Autumn Half term)

Follow up visits and a clear week for extended reshoots if required.


15th November 2019 – 15th December 2019

Final printing and mounting for submission. Evaluating and writing up project.


January 8th 2020

Final hand in.

AD7803 – Final Evaluation

Within my Stokeleigh Camp project, I aimed to address several key themes outlined in my proposal. They were:

  • To investigate and advance my interest in Landscape photography, with a particular emphasis on human scarred or man adjusted spaces.
  • To explore a developing interest in the aesthetics of alternative process analogue photography.
  • To consider carefully the relationship between space, artist and final creative outcome.

I approached my work at Stokeleigh Camp with little prior knowledge of the landscape and its historical context. As part of the project I have researched the communities who built it and their reasoning for doing so. This has provided an insight into ancient Britain, the way people lived within the landscape and the fears and beliefs they upheld. The images I have produced provide a creative and topographical view of space as it exists today. It is clear within the selected final images of the project that this is a space used and modified by the ancient Britons that constructed the camp. 

On a practical level, I was interested in slowing down the way I work to develop a more considered approach. I also wanted to explore the use of alternative processes within my work and look beyond what is considered perfect imagery. I selected the large format paper negative process as the most non-digital technique possible and have celebrated the imperfections of the paper negative process.

Having researched in depth the work of Sally Mann and Roger Fenton, both of whom focussed on areas of human interaction with the landscape, the paper negative process felt reminiscent to the wet plate collodion technique they have used. The physical outcome of my own images is clearly informed by the aesthetics of their work, while the reasoning behind the fort’s construction mirrors both practitioners work that displays notions of fear, belief, bloodshed and what has been before. Further research into the work of Martin Newth has added an additional element of perspective to the project. His work Sentinel considers manmade adjustments to landscape in the form of defensive Pillboxes on the coast across a variety of formats such as photography, video and using the Pillboxes themselves as a camera. The link to Stokeleigh Camp is clear, alterations to the landscape to protect what is held dear in the form of wartime fortifications.

The final point I aimed to address was the relationship between location, the artist and a final physical outcome. The work of Chrystel Lebas in her project Field Studies makes links between artist and the spaces she created for the Natural History Museum, in the form of a resurrection of the work of Edward James Salisbury in the early 20th century. I explored several ways of embedding the landscape into my final images by including soil samples from the fort. I have experimented with Cyanotype and Gum Bichromate prints embedded with soil, but after reflection, I have ultimately settled on including the soil within my development process of the negatives to satisfy this need.

I feel the project has been successful in meeting these predetermined points. The work produced shows the camp to be a human adjusted space and highlights the evidence of ancient activity that remains there. My use of paper negatives was something entirely new to me and over the timeframe of the project it is clear that I developed new skills in this technique as the project approached completion. I am very pleased with my use of the process and the outcome produced.

One area I am especially pleased with has been addressing the notion of agency between the space, myself as artist and the final images produced. The project has created an integrated link across these areas in several ways. Shooting the project has been physically hard work (hill forts were not designed to be easily accessible) and I have fallen down the ramparts myself as perhaps once an invader did. The fort has had a physical effect on me as an individual as well as the photography produced. The process has been slow and considered, which at times was an area that caused me concern due to a perceived lack of progress. I am now able to rethink that lack of progress in a positive light, the slower process has resulted in a much higher yield of final images and a far more considered approach to image making. The final and most important link is the embedded soil negatives. This has created a unique relationship between the hill fort and the images of it, while the physical development process with soil has resulted in my own finger prints being within the negatives and also adds another tangible dimension of connection.

Moving forward, I feel it is now time to conclude my work at Stokeleigh Camp but the option remains to revisit the project in the future. Perhaps creating similar images in a few years time would have interesting results as nature takes over the site even further and the space changes even more. Two of the final images have been selected for an exhibition in the Tobacco Factory in Bristol which has added an extra realism to the entire project.  

One area I am keen to explore further for my next project is notion of agency. Inspired by the Sentinel project, initial ideas include photography of the sea which was a childhood obsession of mine. I will continue to use an analogue format and colour print film as a means of creating a more considered approach to making imagery. Exposing the film to sampled sea water prior development will continue my work on the concept of linking location to image outcome.

Final selections for submission

Having made the decision to end the shooting phase of my project at Stokeleigh Camp, it is time to make my final image selections for submission. This part of any project has always been the most difficult for me and so with my Stokeleigh Camp work I have tried to be utterly ruthless with myself. No easy task.

Additionally, the project has been selected to be included in an exhibition at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol from August to October, so this has added an extra level of realism to the equation.

I have considered the opinions of my lecturers, visiting photographers, my peers and my own students and have highlighted some key questions to answer when making my final choices.

Scale – What size should this work be presented at?

The question of scale is something that has really made me think very carefully about with this project. From the onset, I knew I wanted to make prints for display and felt a relatively large sized print size was the way to go. Opinions on this subject varied with many of the people I discussed the project with placing value on the small 5×4 paper negatives as much as the enlarged test prints I had made. In contrast, the exhibition venue have expressed a strong preference for larger prints to maintain impact in their cavernous space. The reality of the forthcoming exhibition has added a real sense of importance to this difficult decision making process.

The conclusion I have come to is that for my submission I will present three, 12”x14.5” prints flush mounted onto black foam core with an additional 5”x4” print with the 5”x4” negative mounted alongside it. The smaller print and negative will be presented in a deep box frame while the larger prints are intended to be mounted straight to a gallery wall.  I feel this meets the expectations of both schools of thought. The larger prints will satisfy my own need to see detail while the smaller print / muddied neg pairing will provide insight into the making process.. My justification for including both small and larger prints is that to me it would be perfectly conceivable to see both sizes displayed in a single exhibition.

Additionally I have also made some small test patch prints of the images on 6”x8” paper. The test patches are taken from 30”x25” actual size prints as this is what I believe will be the best size for the Tobacco Factory exhibition. I have also decided that these images should be mounted to black MDF, but the test patches will allow me to analyse if the images are able to hold enough detail to be printed at this size.

Embedding the landscape – Am I creating sufficient agency between myself as artist, the space I am working in and the final image output?

This question cropped up during a review with visiting photographer Steve Macleod. I am not sure that there is really a correct answer to this point, and perhaps the question was born more out of creating further internal debate than to sway a decision. The conclusion I have come to is that I really wanted to keep this project a photographic print based outcome. I am content with the subtle, yet present, embedded soil into the negatives.

I have considered other options of screen printing outcomes with suspended soil or gum bichromate embedded with earth, but the test images I made did not match the feel of the Ilford prints and I simply did not want to deviate too much from my original idea for the outcome.

Conclusively, I don’t feel the need to justify the link between image and space any further than the negative stage. Making it even more prevalent feels to me to be verging on overkill and I think the subtlety of the negatives is strong enough. After rereading my research posts and reconsidering the work I looked at, I have concluded that the relationship I have established is sufficient. Many of the artists I have looked at maintain a link between location and outcome, resolved only as a photographic print.

Final image choices

I approached this task by first making small laser prints of all of the images I shot. Comparing each image individually, I selected certain characteristics I felt best portrayed human activity at Stokeleigh Camp and reflected the original intentions of the project. I concluded that I preferred the less than perfect exposures, with flatter highlight areas shallower depth of field. The developing marks caused by my own flippant processing technique add a link to myself as artist and the double exposure images provide a metaphor of the space being reused over many centuries. It seemed obvious also that the contours of the ancient ramparts should be included too. 

Two, 6″x8″ Ilford Black and White prints showing patches of my selected exhibition images at 30″x25″. These prints will not be submitted, they are simply to assess image quality at a much larger print size. 

Two, 5″x4″ prints to be mounted to black foam core and display next to each other in a deep box frame. The original muddied negative image on Ilford paper and a positive Ilford print at actual size. 

Three, 12″x14.5″ Ilford prints to be mounted to black foam core for submission. 

The work of Roger Fenton in the Crimean War

Roger Fenton (1891-1869) is a significant figure in photographic history. Founding the Royal Photographic society in 1853, he gained widespread recognition for his images of the Crimean War in 1855 which are among the first to depict conflict at first hand. Fenton captured around 360 images over a three month trip.

Fentons Van with his assistant Marcus Sparling, 1855

Drawing some similarities to my own practice, Fenton captured his location images using what we would now consider to be a large format 14×18’ plate camera. Fenton used the wet plate collodion process to record his location images and travelled the Crimea in a horse drawn “Photographic Van” that enabled him to prepare his plates and process them on site, as is required of the wet plate collodion process. Fenton’s “Photographic Van” enabled him to live within the spaces he worked, as well as afforded him the essential darkroom access he required.

Within my own practice shooting on a large format camera I am to understand and appreciate the handwork and manual, mechanical process involved in creating images this way requires. The wet plate process dictates exceptionally slow shutter speeds of around 10 seconds, not far from the paper negative process I am using. This slow and methodical process of capturing images is mirrored in my work at Stokeleigh Camp. Working in this way builds a strong link between photographer and location as the sequence of capturing images requires precise observations over a prolonged time to ensure each image meets its potential.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death, 1855

The Valley of the Shadow of Death is perhaps one of Fenton’s most recognisable images. The road in a ravine was named by the British soldiers who came under constant Russian bombardment while sheltering there and borrows its name from the twenty third Psalm of the Bible, a popular funeral text. The scene is devoid of humans yet the scene is strewn with used cannon balls. Victorian sensibilities dictated that human destruction should not be seen. As Fenton had been sent to the Crimea to raise public support of the war, death was not likely to feature in his work. Instead, the used cannon ball provide a visual metaphor to the many fallen at this location. Ins several ways, what is not shown but alluded to is more important to the image that what is shown.

…in coming to a ravine called the valley of death, the sight passed all imagination: round shot and shell lay like a stream at the bottom of the hollow all the way down, you could not walk without treading upon them… 

Roger Fenton

Two versions of this image exist, one with cannon balls and one without. This is the cause of debate over whether Fenton interacted with the scene and placed the cannon balls himself to enhance his image. Other believe the close grouping of the balls is the result of them being gathered from the surrounding ravine for reuse.


Mortar batteries in front of Picquet house Light Division, 1855

The Mortar batteries located at Picquet house show soldiers of the Light Division in a man made defensive position. What is depicted in this scene is a man-made encampment designed to be defended which is in many ways reminiscent of Stokeleigh Camp. Clearly visible in the image is the mounding earth and the placement of collected stone to create a fortified space. This manipulation of space and material is a tactic to enhance what is already present within the landscape and its purpose is to protect the people within it. Although Stokeleigh Camp predates Fentons image by thousands of years, the intention and technique is largely the same.

Also within this image are the photographic abberations present within Fentons wet plate collodion process. The scratches and marks present on the the print add to the utilitarian nature of its content. We now consider these artefacts to be reflective of the era in which it was created as this was once cutting edge technology.


Plains of Balaclava, 1856

Fentons use of the wet plate collodion process dictated many factors in his work at the Crimea. Whilst in modern times we have grown accustomed to images of conflict that capture action in a fleeting moment, the use of wet plate has ruled this out. Instead his work is mainly made up of landscapes and posed portrait images.

Plains of Balaclava shows one of the large expansive plains that Crimea is known for. The mist visible in the image could be attributed to smoke generated through gun fire or simply early morning weather, it is the terrain of battle. The resulting image has an eery and atmospheric quality to it. The mist could be considered the rising of the dead to heaven or an air of destruction across the landscape. There is a beauty to this sublime image that causes the viewer to make their own conclusions. It is an enchanting image that challenges the viewer to consider the invisible carnage of the scene.

Critical analysis of the work of Roger Fenton in relation to the work of Sally Mann

I think it is important to recognise the similarities between the work of Roger Fenton and that of Sally Mann. Although captured over one hundred years apart, there are some factors that should be highlighted and compared.

Fentons work in the Crimea was created in 1855 and relates directly to the carnage that happened in that first industrialised war. The work of Sally Mann, although shot in the later half of the nineteenth century onwards, relates to the American civil war of 1861 to 1865. While the comparative works were shot many years apart, they both relate to the bloodshed and turbulence of largely rural communities. The two entirely separate instances of war occurred within a relatively short time of each other.

Another important distinction to establish is that both Fenton and Mann used the same wet plate collodion process to create their images. Fenton, in 1855 was using the wet plate collodion process out of a matter of necessity as this was a modern process in the Victorian era. Sally Mann however made the elective decision to utilise the wet plate process for her Southern American landscapes. Mann has her reasons for selecting this process over a more modern technique, and this decision is largely linked to its abstract qualities and slow process that she required as part of her image making process.

The main difference between the key works of Fenton and Mann is their approach to subject matter. Fenton visited the Crimea to capture war and all its glory for a British public searching for morale boosting news. He was a witness to the bloodshed, and was embedded amongst the action and attempted to record what a Victorian audience wanted to see.  His positioning was by default on the inside looking out.

Sally Mann however had (and continues to have) a differing position of approach. She was not a witness to the American civil war. Capturing the remnants of a long since ended war, Mann’s work positions her as a modern observer. Although she is deeply rooted in the spaces she is capturing, this placement is in a modern context looking and reflecting on bloodshed that happened many years ago. Her approach is historical and the work positions her away from the ancient violence due to the passage of time. She positioning on the outside of the events her work is concerned with and remains looking inward.

Linking to my own practice

I have long been an admirer of the work of Roger Fenton and revisiting his activity in the Crimea has allowed me to make some additional sense of my own practice at Stokeleigh Camp. My own work and that of Fenton share many parallels. The use of large format photography and processes that dictate a slower approach has allowed a more coherent link between the image making process and the landscape being depicted. It is forced upon us to slow down and consider the spaces being photographed.

Aesthetically both bodies of work share similarities, where depth of field and focus is sometimes less than perfect, but that is not important to either body of work. The alluding to war and destruction in Fentons work is comparable to the assumption of human presence on the landscape in my own work.


A terrible beauty | Tate. 2019. A terrible beauty | Tate. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/terrible-beauty. [Accessed 06 May 2019].

Roger Fentons photographic processes. 2019. Roger Fentons photographic processes. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.rct.uk/collection/conservation/roger-fentons-photographic-processes. [Accessed 06 May 2019].

http://www.metmuseum.org. 2019. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/rfen/hd_rfen.htm. [Accessed 06 May 2019].

Roger Fenton – 19th Century – Peter Fetterman. 2019. Roger Fenton – 19th Century – Peter Fetterman. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.peterfetterman.com/19th-century/roger-fenton/featured-works?view=slider#2. [Accessed 06 May 2019].

Shoot – 13/4/19

This shoot felt like the hardest work so far of the project. Contrast was a real issue under the bright sunlight and the good weather made the fort unusually busy with people wondering around. It has become quite difficult to recover loose soil required for the integrated mud bath as the ground has hardened and I really do not want to have to damage the ground in this scheduled ancient monument by digging at the earth.

And so it has started to feel like my shooting at Stokeleigh Camp is coming to an end. When I started this project in January the trees were bare and the soft overcast days of winter provided favourable lighting to the paper negative process. As we approach May the days have become much longer and the harsh bright sun of spring is becoming increasingly difficult to shoot in. The previously stark trees are now covered with leaves and the blue skies of spring are nearly impossible to render on photographic paper. And so I have now decided to start focussing on my final outcome and reediting the images I have shot over the last few months.

I have updated my website with some images from the project but from now my attention will be focussed on printing my images for submission. I have decided that I will submit some 12”x16” framed images. The frames will be black and of a low profile with the images mounted to board but without an aperture mount. I feel it is really important to have the border of the images visible to the viewer as I want to express that minimal editing has taken place. Having experimented with different print processes earlier on in this project, I have decided that I will print my images digitally onto Ilford Multigrade black and white paper which is the same paper used in the negative process. The next task over the coming weeks will be to decide which images will make my final selection.

Galley of Images

Cyanotype and Gum Bichromate Printing Experimentation

As potential alternative to the Ilford silver based prints I have already experimented with, I have also investigated the options of Cyanotype and Gum Bichromate prints as alternative means of producing my final outcomes. I have worked with basic Cyanotype printing many times before with my own students but Gum Bichromate printing was entirely new to me.

During a university workshop I used an acetate negative to produce both basic Cyanotype and Gum Bichromate prints. The acetate I used was from a previous location project but this provided an interesting comparison across the two types of prints.

My initial conclusion was that the bright blue of the Cyanotype did not lend itself to the predominantly dark images shot at Stokeleigh Camp. The Gum Bichromate with its brown pigment provided a more relevant outcome for my current project. The possibly of incorporating the soil samples I had collected at the camp was a real attraction as one of my primary aims with the Stokeleigh Camp project was creating a link between the space and the final outcome.

Moving forward I created a new acetate negative of one of my images at Stokeleigh Camp. I made a basic Cyanotype print of it again onto heavy watercolour paper. Referring back to the brown of the Gum Bichromate test print I had previously made, I found this aesthetic fitted my images better. I decided to tone the new Cyanotype print in a mixture of Tea and recovered soil in an attempt to recreate this aesthetic. This outcome created a strong link to the camp and provided an outcome with the location embedded into the print.

This has been a really worthwhile and enjoyable exercise but I feel it is not the right technique for producing my final images for the Stokeleigh Camp project. The Ilford silver prints have a more detailed and refined print quality that I believe this project demands. Thinking further forward to my next project, I am keen to extend my work on incorporating agency between location and final outcome. The print making processes I have experimented with could be a really strong starting point. This experience has made me consider shooting some seascape images and recovering seawater from the location to later use in a printing process. This is just an initial thought but a very exciting one at that.

The ultimate physical feel and texture of the heavy watercolour paper was the main issue for me as I find it too far removed from the refined print quality of the silver based print I had previously decided was to be the likely basis for my outcome. The lack of image definition also plays a key part in my decision. As the images were shot in a large format in the first place, it feels like the more abstract qualities of Cyanotype and Gum Bichromate prints take away a lot of the detail captured in the paper negatives. In conclusion, I am likely to continue with the Ilford silver based prints for the final submission of my Stokeleigh Camp project but remain enthusiastic to revisit this area of print making for a further project.

Martin Newth – Sentinel

Martin Newth is an artist working in London and a graduate from the Slade School of Art.

His project Sentinel explores World War Two Pillboxes placed within the British Landscape that where build between 1940 and 1945. The work culminated in an exhibition first displayed at George and Jørgen, London in 2011. The work unites monochrome external photography, video installations and utilising the Pillboxes as cameras. The project explores the relationship between Pillboxes and the spaces they occupy, notions of the picturesque and sublime, and ideas of landscape and memory that underpin photography and vision. The photographic images within the exhibition culminated as a book.


The Thames at Dartford


The Thames at Dartford is C-type print in monochrome. The image shows a Pillbox in Dartford, Kent which is clearly an urban space. The surrounding area to the front of the Pillbox is overgrown, adding to the notion that this is a forgotten space. In the background it is clear that this Pillbox is located in an industrial area that was once of strategic importance. To the left of the image appears to be a river, probably the River Thames which could explain this locations importance. Placed behind the Pillbox the viewer can see modern lamp posts, and the framing of this image has almost centred one coming out of the roof. This metaphorically suggests that this particular Pillbox is highly important, in the same way a monarch would fly a flag over their residence to assert importance.


The Thames at Dartford


This image is again a black and white C-Type print of an unrecorded location. The Pillbox is situated on a beach or mud bank or an estuary, again probably in relation to the River Thames.

This image spells out a sense of isolation, as the Pillbox stands alone in scene with just the water featuring in the background. An interesting element to this particular image is the erosion visible to the right of the Pillbox. It seems probable that the rising tide has slowly eaten away at the ground underneath the once solid and secure building, thereby rendering it like to collapse and fall apart. Much how memories of the soldiers who where once stationed within the confines of this space are likely to be fading over time, so is the material presence of the building that housed those memories.


Sentinel – Medway 1


Together with the monochrome exterior images of Pillboxes, Newth also developed the Sentinel project to repurpose the Pillboxes to be utilised as cameras. The aim was to record the view from the fortified slits from within the Pillboxes. By blocking the slit holes and mounting a lens facing outwards, Newth projected images into the interior of the Pillboxes and recorded these images on to colour photographic paper as a negative.

Colour paper when exposed to white light renders a magenta or red image. This particular panoramic triptych shows the view from three horizontal defensive slits which roughly align with each other. The vista is sublime in that it represents an unparalleled view of the river, this would be a very disable view to behold. The red fogging of the negatives again suggest a dream like reality of the river and is reminiscent of the interior of a war time submarine.The concept of memory of the landscape is also presented. Perhaps the river was once used by submarines when the Pillbox was serving its build purpose. This is the defensive view that this space once defended.


Redend Point, 2011. 3 single channel HD video projection



In addition to the photographic representations of Pillboxes within the Sentinel Project, Newth also created video installations. Many Pillboxes were purposefully placed at coastal locations, with the intention of defeating enemy invaders before they landed. Many of these Pillboxes have suffered from coastal erosion over the passage of time. The Pillbox at Redend Point, Dorset has experienced particular coastal erosion and is slowly giving up to the water that it once protected. The angled view of the screens represents the slowly collapsing pillbox as the ground beneath it gives way with the video camera replacing gun. The videos depict the slow, persistent rhythm of the sea which again represents the slow decline of the structure.



Linking to my own practice

I have very much enjoyed studying the Sentinel Project and has come away with some ideas to develop my Stokeleigh Camp project further at a later point. The use of video is something I have yet to explore, but I am now able to consider it in context.

Newth’s use of colour photographic paper to make negative images shares some similar ideas to my own work. While Newth’s work depict red, negative images images my own paper negatives are black and white. There is a well considered link between the red images and the spaces they show. The dream like images have a strong suggestion of war time that creates an agency between the negatives and the locations they depict. My own paper negatives create a similar agency between space and printed outcome in terms of the embedding of ancient soil into the negative process.

The exterior images Newth created share a similar sense of melancholy represented in many of my own images. The overlooked and forgotten location of Stokeleigh Camp was once heralded with such importance that it was fortified to be defended from others in exactly the same way the locations of Newth’s Pillboxes were considered. From this I have taken some reassurance that my concept for the Stokeleigh Camp project is sound.


Martin Newth. 2019. Martin Newth. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.martinnewth.com. [Accessed 31 March 2019].

ArtRabbit. 2019. Sentinel (South) Martin Newth + Pippa Oldfield – Exhibition at Arts University Bournemouth in Poole. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.artrabbit.com/events/sentinel-south-martin-newth-pippa-oldfield. [Accessed 31 March 2019].