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Artist Statement

Stories from the Bridge to the Locks

‘Stories form the Bridge to the Locks’ is a social documentary exploration of a one mile section of the Upper Peak Forest Canal in Marple, Cheshire.  Shot over the course of the past year the project investigates how this valuable resource has experienced a renaissance over the past 18 months and become an integral part of people’s lives, both those who live on the canal and those who use it to benefit their physical and mental wellbeing. 


The work is grounded in first hand testimonies form those documented on what the canal means to them and the narrative follows the seasonal change from late Summer 2020 into Summer 2021, reflected in the environmental and subject changes and how this effects the way the space is shared and used. 

I think people caught up in future ambitions and desires, struggling to live in the present and appreciate where I am and what I have now. This is a personal monograph focused on personal connections between people, friends, family our immediate community and our natural surroundings. This one mile stretch of the canal has come to symbolise bonds people make with each other during times that are not so clear and unstable.

In capturing and representing these stories and striving to create deeper connections between the viewer and the subject, I am challenging people to consider how these spaces are used and why they are important to local and national culture and identity. By its longitudinal nature, the canal’s activity is transient. Contact between users is so often brief and superficial. I looked to document my community through their journeys in this space; exploring their shared behaviours, perspectives and values, and what makes them different.


Until now, for the wider community, the canal is considered part of the journey, not the destination. Even in such a short stretch of canal, there is so much interest and diversity amongst its users, but their stories aren’t told or shared. It’s part of the social fabric of the area, but uncelebrated. I have honoured the space itself and its role in people’s lives and hope the project will facilitate conversation amongst users and viewers. 

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