To Build a Home
Last November we were pleased to speak at the ‘Lens 2014: Festival of Welsh Documentary Photography’ where another of the speakers was photographer Amanda Jackson. On Friday 25th July Amanda’s work ‘To Build a Home’ opened at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The series is a study of the people of Lammas Tir Y Gafel Eco Village and the surrounding community, focusing on the North Pembrokeshire settlement near Glandwr.
‘Amanda’s approach to photography is to get to know her subjects well, allowing her to create intimate portraits of the people within their surroundings. With previous series’ including The British Eccentrics and Alternative Living, she has always been interested in people living on the edges of mainstream society. During her first photography shoot with Lammas in 2009, Amanda fell in love with the area, the people and the way of life. So much so that in early 2010, she relocated to land beside the village, and now has her own land nearby. She was delighted to receive a grant in 2013 from The Arts Council of Wales to produce the series shown here. All the photographs are shot on medium format colour film, a process Amanda favours over digital. At a time when people are so bombarded by digital technology and images, she feels that film photography still has an artistic edge and forces a more considered approach to creating a body of work.’
‘As well as capturing the day to day activities, Amanda aims to show a mix of community life through the people that live there. Some of the photographers will not only meet expectations of what living in an Eco Village would be like, but feel familiar; others will surprise. In photographs such as “YouTube Friday” we see how the people are embracing modern day technology but in a sustainable way, using hydroelectricity.’
‘In a society that increasingly shelters children from harm, perhaps at the expense of freedom, the photographs of the children of the village may invoke anything from wistfulness to fear in the viewers. These children are free to roam away from busy main roads, but also live and play in an ongoing construction site. We also see adults, including parents, working their plots or enjoying some down time.’
‘Through these photos, the photographer shows the viewer a glimpse of the lives of these people living a way of life that used to be ordinary but now must be chosen. Sometimes contradictory, often humorous, these photographs evoke a timelessness while capturing a growing modern movement.’
Amanda Jackson is a Midlands and Pembrokeshire based photographer, specializing in portraiture and interiors. Early on in her career she realised her passion lay with photographing people and places on the edges of mainstream society. After completing an HND in photography in 2003, Amanda spent 4 years in London working as a freelance photographer’s assistant. She returned to Hereford and completed a photography degree in 2008, gaining a First Class hons. Amanda’s work has been exhibited at The Empire Gallery in London where she won the portraiture category of the 2008 DegreeArt Signature Photography Awards.
Other exhibitions include The Hereford Photo Festival, Rhubarb Rhubarb (Birmingham), D&AD (London), The New Designers exhibition (Islington Business Centre) and DKNY in Bond Street’s New Designer’s Showcase. Amanda is represented by Young Photographers United (YPU) and DegreeArt.
In 2013 Amanda was awarded a grant from The Arts Council of Wales for a photographic project based on the Lammas Eco Village and the surrounding community which forms the series “To Build A Home” which is on show at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre until September 19th 2015.
James O Jenkins