Inside The Spider
(- Images)

Inside The Spider is a body of work exploring Walthamstow Marshes in East London, one of the last natural wetlands in the capital and home to many rare species of plants and creatures.

I started working on this project in 2014 when I moved to a flat on the edge of the marshes, in Clapton. For the next three years I visited these marshes on a regular basis, using photography to investigate my own personal and changing relationship with the landscape.

Some of the photographs are a study of the wild, beautiful environment that I often wandered alone; others portray my sculpted reinterpretations of objects and flora found on the marshes, and the constructed narratives I collaboratively created with the women in the images.

The found objects I photographed ranged from materials used to build temporary homes or shelters, to debris from all-night raves and evidence of secretive sexual encounters. They acted as clues as to how people were using this vast land with hidden pathways - as a private place to escape. I became fascinated by these traces of life and searched them out in order to understand how others were connecting with this space.

I started incorporating female figures into my images after the summer of 2015, when there were several attacks on women on the marshes and the tone of the work inevitably began to change. I decided it was no longer safe to go there alone and began taking friends with me, whom I started using in the images as a way of connecting to the surroundings and the found objects.

Whilst the project was still about the natural beauty of the landscape, it had also become a work exploring the sense of mystery and feeling of unease that was so palpable on the marshes during that time. It had become an exploration into the vulnerability that women can often experience when they wander through nature alone.