jeremy harrison photography

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Beyond the End of the Road

Set in the wild, mountainous region of Tusheti in the Georgian Caucasus, bordering on Chechnya and Dagestan and cut off from the rest of the world for eight months of the year, it is hardly surprising that it retains much of its ancient social and cultural structure.  Until 1987, there was not even a dirt track to access the region; today it has just a dirt track and remains as remote, mystical and beautiful as ever.

This series was presented at the Tbilisi International Photography Festival in September 2017.

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Isolation

2016 presented a sad indictment of modern society, as two nations turned their backs on their neighbours and the rest of the world in an ultimately selfish, isolationist gesture.

Three hundred and fifty years ago, a very different motivation for isolation was demonstrated as a community chose to separate itself from the world for the good of their neighbours.  In 1665, the bubonic plague reached Eyam, a small, lead-mining village in Derbyshire.  The villagers volunteered to quarantine themselves. Three-quarters of the population died; their neighbours survived. 

 
Five Year Plan

Rustavi, one of Stalin’s megalomaniac schemes, is a steelworks town constructed from nothing, in the middle of nowhere, shortly after the end of the Great Patriotic War.  It serves as a metaphor for the futility of artificially imposed “ideal” planning attempting to subjugate nature and the march of progress.

Within five decades, the collapse of the Soviet Empire and with it, any notion of integrated industrial policy, led to the demise of the principal source of the town’s economy.  Since the 1990’s, the population has shrunk by almost half and of those that remain, two thirds are unemployed. 

 
...because my days are nothing

A reflection on the impermanence of life and mankind's attempts to create monuments in stone, set against the enduring qualities in society.

Presented at the 2016 Tbilisi Photography Festival.

Snow Country

Isolated beyond the mountains of central Japan, historically Yuzawa was an impoverished town whose exceptional snowfall prevented the inhabitants from cultivating their fields for most of the year. 

The advent of the railway at the beginning of the twentieth century brought affluent Tokyoites to enjoy, as Kawabata so politely expressed it, “the delights of the hot baths, intended for the unaccompanied gentleman”.

I was drawn to the town, not for its earthly delights, but to experience the sense of isolation which endures today, even with the advent of high speed trains.

This series is from 2016

 
Indecisive Moments

An intentional reference to the obvious, and an alternative interpretation of the Bouches-du-Rhône; not a flamingo or horse thrashing the waves to be seen!

Originally produced and shown at the Rencontres d'Arles Photography Festival in 2015, for copyright reasons this is only a short selection from the series.

Floating World

Fantasy and illusion in modern Japan

To an outsider, Japan is a paradox, obsessed by electronic gadgets, epitomised by the iPhone… and yet the youth choose to dress up in traditional costumes whilst taking part in the ancient tradition of “flower viewing”.  But to them, there is no paradox, no confusion of intent; both aspects, modernity and tradition sit comfortably alongside one another.

These images of immaculately kimono-clad, selfie-snapping youths show both sides of this reality, a floating fantasy, an illusion of Japan the way I want it to be, the paradox resolved.

 
State of Terror

Yemen lays claim to the longest continually inhabited city in the world; bizarrely it remains in something of an aesthetic time warp, where people dress as they have for thousands of years and wander the streets with an unsettling array of weaponry.  Despite the seductive tourist images on the one hand, and the dire warnings of Western media on the other, it is neither a bucolic idyll, nor a sinister terrorist state. 

This series is from 2008, before the current civil war.

 

 

Another World

Dogon Country is today a dry and dusty landscape bounded by a vast escarpment into which the people have constructed improbable granaries, stores, burial chambers and homes overlooking the plains below. 

Inevitably a civilisation which practices various forms of fetishism to determine the future and which claims to have discovered the white dwarf Sirius B, invisible to the naked eye, has raised all manner of speculation about their origins or early contact with aliens.

As animists they endow inanimate objects, locations and events with a presence in the spirit world, as much a reality to them as the physical manifestation of rocks, bones and other fetish objects.