The Salt Marsh

This salt marsh lies along the edge of Morecambe Bay in North Lancashire. I have known it since childhood, and still walk here daily. Over the last decade the relationship that I have with the marsh and its surroundings has developed much further than I could have imagined, through my artistic practice. In the summer of 2021 I began to study the salt marsh in much more detail after noticing some dramatic changes taking place there. One of the things that I love about Morecambe Bay is its constant, very visible expression of time; as if it is making and remaking itself day by day. Recently those transformations have been increasingly severe. The salt marsh is eroding away at an alarming speed, and where possible it is migrating into nearby fields.

Salt marshes are important. They absorb carbon, create a buffer between coastal communities and the sea, and are home to many species of bird and plant life. I have been studying the edges of the marsh and am amazed at how the world continues to adapt and create itself, but extremely concerned for the future of the salt-marsh and the species that live there.

2017
December 2021
March 2022

Above: Erosion taking place at the southern end of the marsh over time.

At the edge of a retreating salt marsh, work in progress

Above: Study of erosion around the edges of the salt-marsh, work-in-progress. 

Above:  A large piece of earth at the edge of the saltmarsh, 27.04.22 – This work is made from multiple photographs taken from multiple viewpoints. Moving the body/camera so close to the ground, it is not possible to create a ‘perfect’ image that slots together like a jigsaw, but nevertheless that is how I have chosen to assemble it. I hope that the ‘glitches’ and ‘repeats’ point towards the passage of time in this ever-changing landscape, the shifting of the earth with each new tide, and the physical nature of the making.

mud channels

Above: A drainage ditch cutting through the marsh transforms into a huge muddy canyon to the north, adjacent to where the River Keer enters Morecambe Bay.

eroding salt marshes

Above: Studying erosion and mud layers the western edge of the salt marsh.

The Marsh, 2012-Present