The Fireside and the Sanctuary
The Fireside and the Sanctuary was a new body of work made by photographer Mark Wright, in collaboration with communities affected by fracking decisions in northern England. Wright delved into the experiences, lifestyles, and habitats of these communities, recognizing the potential impact of policy decisions on the landscape and their way of life. He spent time conducting interviews and capturing photographs within these communities, particularly among the village, rural, and agricultural settings, which were the most visibly affected by national government policies concerning new gas drilling procedures by major global chemical companies. The changing environment and communities were notably affected, impacting people’s way of life and their ability to voice concerns for their own well-being. Tensions divided the communities, and they grappled with the imminent changes to their way of life.
Wright’s practice is based upon in-depth research, written material and absorbing himself in a landscape or community. In the new work fracking is clearly seen, not as a ‘local’ problem but one that gravitates around a central place and a collection of people. The environmental and social concerns are universal and relevant to all of us. In his work Wright makes the issues identifiable rather than literal or geographically specific.
The exhibition The Fireside and the Sanctuary was curated by GRAIN for exhibition at FORMAT International Photography Festival 2017 and accompanied by a limited edition photo book with newly commissioned writing by Gemma Padley and Simon Constantine.