I photographed here quickly and nervously. I didn’t want anyone to see me and that is one part of the meaning of this shot. Women were standing nearby attracting custom. Literally just around the corner. I’m not going to explain this photography project because it will either resonate with you or it won’t. I will however say a little about wild flowers. They grow in neglected places, ignored places and, very often, waste places with overturned soil, rubble, and similar. They also grow in nature reserves such as you find along the Mersey Valley.
I photograph wild flowers juxtaposed with urban space. Richard Mabey describes wild flowers as a ‘text.’ That’s an academic term meaning they can be ‘read’ and understood with greater significance than appearance suggests. It’s a trite way to say it, but wild flowers have a life of their own. They flourish in neglected spaces because they can.
If I’d been seen photographing here it would have prompted suspicion and confrontation. I’m photographing nature and wild flowers. Society is secondary. That’s not how it would be perceived however, should I encounter anyone who has a personal involvement with the street. I don’t know the name of these purple wild flowers. I first noticed them two weeks ago at a nature reserve. A chap walked past with his dog and noticed my camera. He came up to me and started conversation. “They’re amazing” he said, and told me how they begin quite sprightly and then hang downwards with an elegant effect. “I’ve got one in my garden,” he said. I asked if they were a wild flower or domestic. Neither of us knew.
Manchester Wild Flowers: Living On The Edge
Friday August 8, 2014