About ten years ago I contracted a virus that would change the course of my life. I still don’t know what it was or how I got it.
It began as a day off college, feeling achy and experiencing flu symptoms, moving to a very dangerous phase when it was decided by a neurosurgeon that I needed a foramenotomy, an operation to enlarge the central cavity of my spinal column down which my nerves travelled.
After the surgery, at any moment of the day, I could just lie down and sleep, and sleep. This lethargy and exhaustion is hard to describe. It means that sleep is more attractive than almost all human endeavour. There is nothing that alleviates the pain of the symptoms.
The feeling of being trapped within your own body leads you to imagine transcending your current existence and escaping to far flung places. I dream and plan vast trajectories through space and time, traversing continents recounted by authors as diverse as the lands they describe: Robert Byron, Ian Sinclaire, John Hillaby, WG Sebald, Werner Hertzog, Marion Shoard, Simon Shama, George Monbiot, Nick Papadimitriou, Richard Mabey, JHB Peel, Primo Levi, Robert Walser, Laurence Scott, Guy Stagg, Rebecca Solnit, Alfred Watkins, Bruce Chatwin, Richard Long, Jan Morris, William MacGillivray, Ray Jardine, Cheryl Strayed, Sabine Baring-Gould, JB Priestly, Patrick Leigh Fermor and Paul Auster. All these accounts, representations, of space and time and the freedom to roam.
As an image maker I realised I was not limited by having to be present with a camera to record what passed in front of my lens. I could make representations of time and space without ever having been physically present. I realised quickly that not being able to walk or operate a camera would be no impediment to travelling far and making images from captures other people had made and still applying editorial authorship on the results of my journeys. These images are the result of some of those journeys.