In March I was invited for interview as part of my application to study Photography at UWE Bristol. Along with the interview I was asked to repsond to a photo brief entitled “Your Own Back Yard’ These photos and the accompanying text are my response.
‘Your Own Back Yard’
There are many ways to interpret the project brief title and like most people who were presented with the same title my immediate thoughts were drawn towards the literal interpretation of the back garden of my house. Although this would have provided a solid base for the project as I’m lucky to have an interesting garden I felt that thinking about the other possible interpretations would expand a wider range of different options for me to pursue and ultimately provide a series of images that would be more individual.
When people are presented with a situation or an object in their local area that they object to the phrase ‘not in my back yard’ is often used and this has developed into a shortened reference to people that take that attitude on a regular basis: ‘NIMBYs’ This led me to think about how people feel about their immediate local area and how they tend to either respect their surroundings or as in many cases, disrespect them. For example when walking through a residential area it is always very easy to spot where the people that take greater respect in their surroundings live with neatly tended gardens and houses. However, it is equally as easy to spot where the opposite end of that spectrum are, with untidy gardens and shabby looking properties in need of repair and attention.
I began to think about peoples attitudes to the area immediately outside of their own domain, the pavements and streets where they live where the pass through every day to get to that domain and how their attitude towards their own personal environment doesn’t always seem to reflect in the immediate area. If you walk down most streets there always seems to be something abandoned somewhere from bags of rubbish to unwanted furniture. This behavior has always intrigued me, why abandon items in your own street and more interestingly, why do people seem to turn a blind eye?
There are always adequate waste disposal facilities provided by local councils, collection services and now even free websites where a simple advert will result in someone coming to your door to take unwanted items away. To me this is a reflection of the modern materialistic society where possessions don’t have the same value as they did in previous generations and how lazy people can become, disrespecting their surroundings by abandoning possessions on their own doorstep rather than mending or disposing of them in the correct manner.
I took a quick walk around the streets surrounding where I live and saw examples within 50 feet of my front door and decided I would document the abandoned items in ‘my own back yard ‘