When I was ten my friends and I spent long days exploring ‘The Allotments’ when our mothers threw us from our homes - a huge area of allotments and, then, undeveloped land in a North London suburb, where the Piccadilly Line entered the tunnel into Southgate Station. It belonged to us: wormholes into our imagination - mapped within our heads and on grubby notepaper where we could fly along and hide within, crawling secretly into our cosy dens.
Now, translated to Leeds sixty-five years later, I have a new sanctuary - Adel Woods - part of the Meanwood Valley a protected urban green corridor slicing into the centre of the City. It’s a nature reserve of woodland, heathland, meadows, bog, beck and pond. Here I spend my mean exercise rations when my wife, Ros, throws me from my home where I get wiggle on, my legs, eyes and cameras finding asylum in the dark wood - exploring paths and constantly discovering new secrets.
These pictures - all made there- are offered as metaphors expressing my thoughts, fears, and hopes as I travel through the darkness of the Pandemic searching for the light.