This picture of Sandy, Bedfordshire, is from a series of six photographs entitled 'All Yesterday's and Today's', taken of locations in the east of England by the Norfolk-based photographer Mark Edwards. Sandy underwent extensive changes during the 1950s, transforming from a small village into a town with 900 new homes. By way of interpreting this, the entire foreground is taken up with a pleasant rambling landscape; however, behind a bank of trees and shrubs, seemingly colossal electricity pylons start encroaching onto the countryside. The artist places us within the natural section of the picture from where we can observe modernity at a safe distance. Edwards sourced the locations for each photograph by looking at an Ordnance Survey map and pinpointing places of interest. He visited each chosen location at different times of year, becoming accustomed to the landscape and its seasonal changes. The photographs were taken using a large-format camera, a tripod and a stepladder, referencing the pioneering landscape photography of the nineteenth century. This time-consuming process is evident in the distinct lack of action in the photographs, taken in soft, even light and empty of human characters. The high viewpoints make us feel as though we are somehow not imposing ourselves on the landscape.
Mark Edwards was born in 1965. He studied for a postgraduate diploma in photography at De Montfort University in 1997 and the following year continued on at the University to study for an MA. Recent exhibitions have included 'Kettle's Yard Open' at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, in 2002, and 'Traces and Elements' at the Bend in the River Gallery, Gainsborough, in 1996.
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