Sam Laughlin walked the length of the West Midlands region in one trip, starting in the Wye Valley and Herefordshire and walking north to the Staffordshire Moorlands and Peak District. He made work that explores the conﬂicting political, economic and social inﬂuences behind rural land management in the west midlands area, focussing on the ways in which these inﬂuences are manifested in the physical landscape, and the resulting effect on biodiversity.
Habitat loss, whether due to intensive farming practices, forestry, or housing development, is one of the most signiﬁcant factors driving the global mass extinction event which is currently underway. A recently published report from the WWF revealed that humans have caused the loss of 60% of wild animals globally since 1970. This number was 50% just four years ago. These startling ﬁgures represent a global trend, but one with local causes rooted in our expectations of individual landscapes; what they should provide for us and where we view their value in an age of expanding consumption.
Sam Laughlin is a British visual artist whose recent practice is primarily concerned with intricate natural processes. Mainly utilising large format black and white photography, his work is characterised by its slowness, taking the form of long term projects intended primarily for exhibition.
Laughlin’s work has most recently been exhibited at Jerwood Space, Impressions Gallery, John Hansard Gallery and Towner Art Gallery. In 2015 Laughlin was commissioned by John Hansard Gallery to create work over a 4 year period. In 2017 he received the Jerwood/Photoworks Award.
Image Credit: Wildflower ‘Island’ from the series The Growing Things by Sam Laughlin