For many years I have walked in a nature reserve, park and occasionally a cemetery near my home. I enjoy the multi sensory experience provided by the trees, water (moving and still), the insects and animals and the tactile sensation of walking on different terrain in varying weather conditions.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, lockdown regulations meant that cultural spaces, indoor leisure and sports facilities and most shops were closed for long periods. People were unable to visit or have visitors in their homes and the only way that it was possible to meet with friends, partners and family was in outside spaces. As a result, there was a massive increase in the people visiting my favourite walking places.
I became aware of a significant increase in litter on my walks which, intriguingly and against my better judgement, I found myself attracted to as evidence of human interaction with the landscape. Much of the litter I encountered represented the highly colourful visual merchandising world that we live in, most of it relating to eating and drinking and designed to stand out on supermarket shelves. In an absurd way I felt that the items I encountered looked like they belonged in that space, that it was their natural habitat.
Every photo, video and sound sample for this project was created using my mobile phone, a device that has transformed human communication: mobile phones have contributed considerably to the intensity of human presence in the landscape through the materials and method of their manufacture and technology that enables a multiplicity of uses and therefore realities.
This project can be viewed as a contradictory example of modern reality: my attention was drawn to litter when I was enjoying the ‘natural’ environment around me.