In September 2012 I set out walking with my camera on Morecambe Bay, in North West England. An activity that was to consume much of my time over the next 18 months. ‘Tidelands’ is the culmination of that journey, to rediscover and photograph the landscapes of my childhood.
I began by photographing the vast open landscapes on the Bay, where I stumbled upon objects and structures emerging from the mudflats. As daylight became twilight, I photographed subtle changes in light, colour and texture; and watched as tides came and went. I explored pathways, promenades, peat bogs, and salt marshes; recording things of interest along the way. In doing so I began to ask deeper questions about our relationship to the landscape, and what it means to have a sense of place.
Morecambe Bay is situated on the Lancashire and Cumbria coastline, just to the south of the Lake District National Park. Covering an area of 320 square kilometres, it is the largest area of intertidal mudflats and sand in the UK.
Despite appearances, the bay can be a dangerous place. A combination of fast tides, draining rivers, quicksands and shifting channels can easily trap unwary visitors. The ebbing tide retreats as far as twelve kilometres, and races back over the bay at speeds of 9 knots: approximately 16 kilometres an hour. It is wise to check the tide tables before venturing out on the sands, as walkers can be trapped by waves speeding in, both in front and behind them. They say that the incoming tide “approaches as fast as a horse can run”.
You can also preview a selection of the images here, in my gallery.
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