As I have discussed in previous posts, I have collected my research and potential ideas and started to refine a potential narrative to follow for my final major project. This is a work in progress and is therefore subject to change. However, I feel that I have succeeded in create a strong position from which to start the next stages of research and practical development.
At this stage, I am focusing upon areas around the North West of England, highlighting the connections between rivers, wetlands, weirs, estuaries, reservoirs and so forth, to see how could relate them and how they might serve to represent both sides of my story, of conservation & wildlife or management & over – abstraction.
This has divided into two general areas of focus:
- Urban Waters: Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Morecambe – looking most specifically at the river Mersey and other connecting water sources, many of which share a history of industry and human development and how this has necessitated its recovery via restoration projects for water sustainability, unpolluted waters and the growth of wildlife. There also still signs of a conflict of interest to potentially discuss through agenda of energy companies versus preservation efforts of conservation organisations e.g. Peel Group and RSPB Mersey Estuary relating to Woolston Weir – highlighted history of disagreements over tidal power damaging environments needed for wildlife and healthy water flow (flood & drought prevention).
- Rural Waters: Cumbria; looking most specifically at West Cumbria water catchments supplying unsustainable amounts of water to various areas around the North West, referring to Haweswater, Thirlmere, Bassenthwaite, Ennerdale, Derwentwater, Windermere as well as various other connecting water sources. Once again, we find a conflict between the agenda of government policies, water companies (united utilities) in their over abstraction and poor waste water management (pollution via history of industrial development) and environmental organisations striving to preserve and recover these areas as a means of encouraging wildlife and healthy water flow e.g. tourism – Ever increasing number of visitors to Windermere means excess in water usage via toilet facilities, however, water abstraction policies haven’t been adjusted since 1960’s during a time with a far smaller population and the demand of water as it stands now, isn’t sustainable – unfortunately one of the only means of gaining financial and ecological support from the government is to adapt to become popular within public interest – which would explain why quieter, more natural areas such as Thirlmere still suffers from polluted waters.
There is also a connection between them via the newly built West East Main Link Pipeline that can carry 100 million litres of water daily from Prescot Reservoir near Liverpool to Woodgate Hill Reservoir North of Manchester, which relies upon huge water abstractions from Haweswater Aqueduct.
I believe that this will become further developed and refined prior to the start of my final major project. However, I feel that my ideas, research, approach and creative direction have developed massively since the beginning of this module.
Other aspects to consider for the future are more practical in their approach.
- Further refine a list of potential contacts that might serve as reference for theory, discussion or audience.
- Start to look further at site accessibility and flexibility for visits, as well as potential licences or permits that might be needed specifically for my chosen locations or subjects.
- Begin to experiment with images, most likely starting more locally areas and expanding out into other intended locations.
- Research other aspects needed to implement presentation and exhibition of series such as potential printers, costs, venues, display layouts, potential materials etc…
Overall, I feel quite confident in my concept and intended approach, hopefully I will be able to implement it in practical and produce a definitive visual outcome that will define the origins of my professional photographic practice.