British Paranoia

British Paranoia

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British Paranoia is a body of work that represents a rambling journey through British landscapes during the years 2017-19; a time when the UK was riven by the Brexit debate, following the results of a referendum on 23 June 2016 in which UK voters chose by a narrow margin to leave the EU, a process that finally reached completion of sorts on January 1st 2021.

In these years before the Covid pandemic overtook so many aspects of our lives, “British paranoia” was a summation of the feeling of dread that both anti- and pro-Brexit debaters felt about the future of the UK in relation to the EU. Nostalgic stories of British exceptionalism became normalised in political debate and the genuine problems that drove voters in the referendum seemed to become marginal.

The photographs were shot on half-frame vintage film cameras from the 1960s and the project was conceptualised as a movie-like comic strip in which ‘landscape’ photographs offer oblique commentary on the political situation. In essence, they are a search for sculptural forms in a landscape blighted by entropy.

The outputs for the project include a photo installation of framed images, presented as a linear ‘filmstrip’ in which the images can be ordered into different edits to influence the narrative, and a series of artist’s books. The first printing was a selection of 40 images in a booklet in December 2020. This was followed in January 2021 with a selection of 120 images sequenced in a self-contained 3-part book series, designed with a minimalist aesthetic to emphasise the immediacy of the images.

Books available from SKWCZP.