Non OCA Work: Brexit

In my moments of relaxed unfocused pondering I sometime thought, how would I photograph Brexit? Then some other musing would squeeze it way through the relaxed synapses and the Brexit thing would slip away.

Well yesterday, while on an unrelated photographic mission, an idea came to me. I was at the RSPB reserve at Minsmere, famous amongst other things for the BBC’s Springwatch programmes as well as my Assignment 1! Like other low-lying locations on the coast it has remnants of World War 2 defenses. In the sand dunes there are what I’ve always know as ‘tank traps’; lines of large concrete cubes only a few feet apart. Constructed in 1940 along with gun emplacements and miles and miles of barbed wire these acted to deter German forces from invading these vulnerable parts of the country’s coastline.

This is work in progress but I started photographing individual ‘tank traps’, consciously avoiding the long shot depicting lines of them. As a line they have a uniformity but individually they bare the effects of 77 years of exposure to the elements and the encroachment of nature.

I’m consciously stepping aside from any debate over Brexit, goodness knows how much shouting I’ve done at the TV and radio over the 12+ months. Here at least I’m keeping my views (or at least I think I am) out of it. Instead I want these images to be ambiguous, perhaps a reflection of the situation the UK finds itself once stripped of the political hype and hyperbole. If that is at all possible..?

I’d be interested in your views on this project. Constructive feedback is always welcomed…

Brexit 2


Brexit 1


Brexit 3


5 thoughts on “Non OCA Work: Brexit”

  1. I like the images and consider you have the beginnings of what could be an interesting project even “body of work”; I think captions are probably going to be necessary but I guess this depends on the manner in which you present the work. Non OCA or OCA … as a photographer does it matter? Good Luck with your work.


  2. Thank you for the kind words. I only make the distinction ‘Non OCA’ to separate it from my OCA studies. I think it is good to maintain your own photographic interests separate to the formal study. I agree that some form of titles would help. I also considered cropping the shots to a square format but found I was too close to the blocks – they occupied the frame too much and needed more space around them. In future shoots I’ll try standing a bit further back!


  3. Hi David.
    It’s a good start. How else could you show ambiguity whilst still including the tank traps?
    What does ambiguity mean to you? How is it shown in the media? In politics? By the public?

    Rob Townsend an oca photography degree student has explored Brexit in a totally different way so it may be worth looking at his work, research and planning. Good luck with the project.


  4. This is an interesting project, a typology of effects of weathering and erosion. In this respect it is quite close to one of my favourite themes, nature reclaiming. I find the connection with Brexit interesting. Tank traps were meant to keep out invaders, is this what means to you?

    Liked by 1 person

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