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This Ragged Edge

This Ragged Edge

I’m working on new personal project, photographing the south Devon coastal path between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. I grew up in the South Hams in Devon and have wonderful recollections of languid hot summers exploring this coastline in my teenage years. It was my first real taste of freedom from home.  As soon as I passed my driving test I bought a beaten up old Triumph Herald and would run out to the beaches and headlands along this rugged stretch of coast with friends. During those years of swimming, camping, scrambling, jumping from perilous rocks and generally aping about I built up an intimacy with this transitional space that has inhabited me ever since.

Names of beaches like Gara Rock, Vanericks and Mattiscombe Sands still have powerful resonance for me. They bring back a rich weave of memories – a connection back to a younger self with a whole lifetime ahead of me. When I walk down to them I tread many paths back to the white coves of my youth. Accompanied by two of my two best friends from this time James and Marcus (both writers and poets), we are building up a reflective portrait of hidden corners of this Devon coastline as winter edges into spring.

The images from my most recent field trip last February are all the more stricking as we were caught out by the ‘beast from the east’ and ended up sheltering in a disused quarry at Beesands for two nights. It was the first time the locals could remember such extreme conditions in 35 years and I found myself ideally placed to capture some extraordinary images of the coastline with snow running right down to the surf. All of my photographs from this project were shot on film in medium format.

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