My Work in Progress (WIP) portfolio is a result of my work on the Coul Links project. The project has evolved over the last two modules and will continue to be refined as I move toward Final Major Project (FMP). A short explanation of what the project entails and where it stands now is a necessary preface to the discussion on the WIP.
Coul Links is a place in NE Scotland which the forces of nature have created over thousands of years. Like many of the links lands in the UK these forces have also described the essential elements of a golf course. Developers wish, like sculptors, to reveal the golf course that lies within Coul Links. Environmentalists have moved to block the development because of Coul Links protected status and concerns over the impacts of development on the ecology of the site. The majority of locals support the development, believing they will be able to continue to use the land as they have in the past and present and that the economic benefit the golf course will bring is essential to the surrounding area. People and wildlife have co-existed in this place for thousands of years. There is a rhythm to the place and all its inhabitants that ebbs and flows with the seasons. This project explores these relationships between place, people and wildlife as they exist now and how they might exist in the future.
For my WIP portfolio I have chosen to pursue this theme of interactions between place, people and wildlife and have selected photos accordingly. My past work was largely absent people. In this module, I experimented some this term with tighter environmental portrait work (as shown in my Oral Presentation), but in the end decided that photographing people as I would photograph wildlife, from a distance, to give context to the activity and the place was where I wanted to take the project.
The portfolio is organised into essentially three chapters with the first depicting the place and the traces of human interactions. Some are obvious, like the bench overlooking Loch Fleet and the steading at Coul Farm, while others are more subtle, like the remnants of the felled tree plantation and grazing sheep, or the power pylons in the distance. The second chapter is more explicit showing people in various activities around Coul Links that range from dog walking and bird watching, to fishing and surfing along the beach that fronts Coul Links. The third chapter shows some of the birds that are beginning to gather for the winter along the the northern perimeter of Coul Links and in Loch Fleet.
I considered initially trying to overlay thumbnails of the photos on a map or an all-encompassing panorama of Coul Links to show how, despite the expansiveness of the overall site, the bulk of the human interactions and a good deal of the wildlife encounters are at the perimeters of the site whereas the interior sees much less activity. I decided this approach might be useful in an exhibition but wasn’t as well suited to a portfolio.
The portfolio can be found in an Adobe Spark format at Ashley Rose SP_Work in Progress. Selecting any photo in each section will start a slide show with larger versions of the photos.
A PDF version of the document is also attached here, but it will only depict the groups of photos. SP WIP