‘In This Place’ looks at family and home, connections and place, touching on issues of social and personal inertia within our environment.
The project revisits the people in the 1994 work ‘Family’, a series of images of the photographer’s sister and her children. The story resumes in 2016 with images that trace the narrative of their present lives and that of their own children.
In the intervening years all the people from the earlier project had moved from one estate poised to undergo urban regeneration to another where they live in pockets that have yet to be touched by redevelopment.
Life feels static in the housing estates of Central Scotland; as the world changes, the lives of the people in these photographs remains relatively still and immobile.
Within this social landscape movement has occurred but from one area scoring high in The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to another. A simple bus ride across town. Within this immobility exists some sense of acceptance, with the life given though not always chosen.
In This Place’ is a story of people and place, of people’s lives: what they do and what they want. It is essentially about choice – do we have choices in life or are some predetermined to an extent and made for us?
The ‘place’ is both mental and physical, where we put ourselves and where we are put, sometimes by others and sometimes by circumstance. What puts us there, what keeps us there, and do we want to be there? These are the central questions.
My sister is dead now so part of the story is personal, an account of loss and reconnection as I re-enter and am welcomed into the lives of my extended family. The family renews, it endures.
'In This Place' (2016/17) revisits the people in the work ‘Family’ (1994), a series of images of the photographer’s sister and her children.
See below for full project text.