In 2014 I began a travel research project to document my hometown Goole, North England and it's twinned town of Zlowtow, Northern Poland. I spent a year documenting the lands, in a topographical manner. In time, especially after Brexit I naturally found myself more personally connected, documenting my journey for answers and the search for a feeling of ‘home’.
Without agenda this project started with the simple idea of looking at each town; “The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism”
I quickly realised it was a ridiculous notion to be in pursuit of such an ideal. This project was heavily burdened by the weight of immigration debates before Brexit. These fraught unspoken tensions could be felt in small Northern English towns such as Goole.
I found some peace and connection when I stopped to look, to take a photograph. Regardless of country the landscapes each had universal truths, the same remnants of Industry, ghosts of a more stable economic past. The land where people worked in industry and agriculture. I recognised my loneliness in Poland in the solitary landscapes I captured and the weight of the heavy political debates that surrounded my work. I often felt visually the towns were so closely mirroring each other- but perhaps that was my eye and melancholy feeling from travelling between two countries, looking for easy solutions that did not exist.
This series is tied to my own feelings of the tough journey and questions I tackled both before and after Brexit. The window a running theme, a memory; sitting alone in my hotel room in Poland, looking out into the Zlowtow forests, filled with anxiety, even the thought of asking for a photograph in a different language. I felt lost trying to find a way to represent such a complicated and overwhelming subject matter. Only finding stability by accepting it’s ok to be lost, to not have all the answers.