The Floods by Joseph Wright
I worked with Joe about 5 years ago at Nationwide Building Society HQ in Swindon, we never managed to get out together despite threatening to do so many times in the coffee bar there. Joe and I often discussed the styles, fashions and trends in photography and he was always a stalwart of individual perspective rather than shooting to please the crowds.
I can't say I always immediately shared his interpretations but wholeheartedly supported, and still do, his philosophy and approach to photography. So it was with great pleasure that I randomly bumped into him outside a pub in Nottinghamshire a few months back whilst both on route to attending the same "Masters of Vision" exhibition and conference.
On catching up he explained how he had just finished a labour of love project producing a self published book "Edgelands - The Floods". Needless to say I was eager to see it for myself knowing how Joe puts so much personal input and perspective into his images. A few days later my copy arrived. Beautifully packaged on the outside and even better on the inside.
This photo book is not like most you pick up and thumb through waiting to be smacked between the eyes with bombastic images - this is a refined read and pleasurable slow journey through each page and small amount of accompanying text. Joe doesn't attempt to explain his photos through lots of words and certainly doesn't distract the viewer with "metadata" or incidental information about time and location. Instead, he uses just one or two short sentences to help us understand his emotional connection to the place and nostalgia he so clearly has from his childhood days in the woods he has photographed.
Whilst many of the photo's are similar in subject matter, they are all unique and reflect Joe's ability to extract order out of chaos and obvious excitement and serenity he felt when making each image.
The book is produced with beautiful attention to detail and printed to high quality on tasteful and complimentary stock card/paper. Hand bound and stitched by Joe himself, the book feels like a labour of love from conception to final production with Joe's personal input evident in every stage of the process.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to enjoy, even learn and be inspired by one person's unique perspective of scenes that are probably on all our doorsteps that we fail to see the beauty in.