City Land (i): Black Country


City Land (i): Black Country is the first part of an ongoing series of photographs reflecting the interaction of geology, natural forces, and historic and contemporary man-made features in Britain's urban environment.

Commissioned by Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and exhibited there during July and August 2007, these photographs were made at sites in and around Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and West Bromwich – the Black Country, a region defined by the thick seam of coal underlying much of the area, and for many years one of Britain's principal industrial heartlands, although much of the area's heavy industries have now ceased.

We tend to think of cities invading and obliterating the green spaces of the rural landscape, but nature and the man-made environment in fact co-exist everywhere, and natural features are quick to recolonise areas of the city whose industrial use has gone into decline. These large-scale, highly detailed photographs suggest something of this vigorous co-existence, and also contain an all important human presence, as it is people and the choices we make that determine how the landscape continues to evolve.

In July 2007, City Land was listed at No 1 in The Times's recommendation of Top Five Exhibitions for readers to see around the UK.

To read extracts from a review in Source (Issue 52, Autumn 2007) by Sara-Jayne Parsons, click here.

Details (below) from City Land (i): Black Country, each representing 1/200th of the image: click on thumbnails for full image

Originals are Lightjet prints on C-type lustre paper, 60x40in (152x102cm)