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S A N D limited edition book pre-order

£250.00 GBP

Shipping costs will be calculated at checkout.

Book Spec:

14" x 10"

Hardback, natural hessian cover

145gsm Mohawk fine art paper

92 pages

Includes two polaroids, one original cyanotype and a contact sheet


S A N D by Peter Britton

This photographic investigation demonstrates the collaboration between humans and the natural world. Situated in South Wales, Newton and Merthyr Mawr sand dunes cover a thousand acres and are incredibly diverse in terms of landscape and human history. To enter Newton Burrows and Merthyr Mawr sand dunes is to pass into a different world; a world in which we are transformed. Away from daily life, it is an environment where we soar. Comprised of grasslands, salt-marsh, beach and woods, the diversity of habitat within Newton and Merthyr Mawr warren is enormous. The ever-present sand punctuates the landscape continuously and permeates the ground on scales both microscopic and vast. The entire ecosystem is based and built on sand. Within every grain of sand, there lies infinite variety and beauty of detail; it is this detail that matters. This detail builds structure, and the structure builds landmass. Pleasure is offered to both the eye and mind as we traverse on foot and unhurried over the sandy soil. When seen from above, the variety of ground that can be trampled underfoot is remarkable. Sand has settled on top of the ancient limestone cliffs creating a special habitat for insects, fungi and plants. Historical remnants from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman times have all been discovered there.

The sand dunes have been with me forever. From an early age, the sandy trails at Newton Burrows and Merthyr Mawr warren in South Wales have been my personal playground. Sunset walks with my father, spotting rabbits as they dashed into the brambles. Adventures with friends, making fires and building dens. Pellet gun wars, hiding in the disused rifle ranges. Beach parties, drinking MD 20/20 and collecting glow worms in jars. Mountain biking on the singed soil, after a summer blaze burned the bracken to cinders. The dunes have forever been my constant and they have led me to this most recent photographic work. But these are not my dunes; these are the dunes of the people that frequent the place. I decided to create a visual narrative of this unique ecosystem, told via multiple mini projects that come together to tell the story of the dunes. This is a visual exploration of this unique ecosystem via alternative and experimental photographic processes.

To ‘photograph’ this dunes environment means capturing the diverse history, landscape and stories of the dunes. This project investigates the dunes through different photographic formats and processes. The work collected can be read as an interrelated whole, designed to create a visual narrative of the history of the dunes, and as a true realisation of the sensations experienced whilst in the landscape.

This project was photographed between January and May 2021, when nearly 5000 individual images of the ecosystem were created. The resulting body of work is a single project, that has 21 different areas of photographic, historical and artistic exploration. 

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