LAND IN OUR BLOOD
Portraits of Nidderdale, North Yorkshire
I came to live Nidderdale in October 1997 which placed me firmly in the category of being an "off cumden" - literally, a person from somewhere else. Depending on whom you talk to, an off cumden is someone who might have lived in the dale for as long as 30 to 40 years. It struck me early on that I had found a dale of immense character and 'spirit' and I was keen to photograph those people who had that inherent connection with the land, regardless of their tenure in the Dale.
As the word spread of my project around the Dale and that I was looking for suitable subjects, my list grew larger. The Nidderdale summer Festival Committee worked closely with the high school & community College to secure a £5000 Lottery, 'Awards for all' grant which financed the cost of cameras and processing students keen to portray their own views of the dale. The project was held up for several months due to the devastating effects of foot and mouth which ravaged farming communities across the country, but was eventually completed in 2002 resulting in an exhibition and book.