Tarmac







I do seem to photograph cars quite often, which is ironic as I'm pretty anti the way this country is so road orientated, like America. Our European neighbours have had the good sense to invest in public transport and build cycle paths separated from the traffic. I cycle to work at this time of year and most of the trip can be done on the canal towpath, with just some road bits at either end. Nearly everyday I experience some kind of alarming behaviour by drivers, apparently oblivious to the danger they put others in. This morning a man in an over-sized four-by-four screeched around the corner of a quiet residential street, accelerating towards me looking furious for some unknown reason. If I hadn't quickly turned out of the way, I can only assume he would have happily run me over.

I think my childhood has a lot to do with me being drawn to photographing cars. My dad was a mechanic, working from home, so our driveway was always filled with different vehicles and I got really good at names and model numbers. So they became part of my landscape and I instinctively feel the need to frame them now. The other element that may have fed into the above pictures is the Wolfgang Tillmans talk I went to as part of his show in Arles. He has made a set of pictures of car headlights that punctuate the exhibition and he talked about how aggressive they look and how this is a sign of the age we live in. It is a cycle, the designers respond to a demand from consumers for a macho look that reflects their aspirations and then that becomes all there is to choose from. To be honest I think I'd made some of these pictures already but who knows, maybe I was channeling Wolfgang too... 
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