chasing history

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One's interpretation of the North shown as photography

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  • ChasingHistory

  • Chasing History

    by

    Charlotte Watson2013

  • From being a young child, Charlotte was obsessed with historical ruins and grand buildings. She wanted to learn about the past that had brought them to their current state, how they were constructed and the souls that lived within them. Growing up, she was determined to achieve in overseeing this ideology and find out these underlying details, in addition gaining a qual-ification in Ancient History. Her eyes were her own personal camera in her younger days, where she could capture what had inspired her to pursue her hobby as a career, and religiously visit upon these chronicles.

    Within this series, Charlotte has visited some of her most favoured ruins, surrounded by beauty and nature in which she associates with the North. Some photographs even come from her hometown where she had access to these medieval sites and some of the most famous in the county. Charlotte had always wondered what it was that had brought the ruins to where they are now, and why that happened? In this project she was able to mix busi-ness with pleasure and not only enjoy learning about what she was photo-graphing and why, but she could choose what shed photograph and how, creating her own history.

    Charlotte travelled all over the North to gather her interpretations, hoping to relate with individuals who shared the same connotations of the North as her, but intrigued to discover those who didnt. Firstly, she went to the prom-inent Kirkstall Abbey situated in Leeds alongside the River Aire. The Abbey still stands since 1152 with its interiors still being visited. Within the series you can see the design of the tiled floorings in the refectories and grounds as well as the lodgings within the monastery. Since being disestablished in 1538 during the reign of King Henry VIII, members of the public have constant-ly called on Kirkstall Abbey.

    She associates the North being surrounded by the wilderness and landscapes, and found this when she visited Thornhill Hall. In this space once lived the Thornhill family who succeeded their own property title when their daughter married into royalty, then becoming the Saviles. In one of the photographs of the series you will find a gargoyle that was summoned protector of that land, named either Gog or Hogog. To this day those gargoyles stand within Thornhill Hall, circled by the famous moat in Dewsbury.

    One of her particular goals was to show that these ruins are still very much visited and not forgotten no matter how insignificant and small. Very sim-ilar to how when people die their gravestones are visited, she liked to think that these buildings were also alive once and in motion to have sadly been disestablished. This series in a sense is an alternative interpretation of evolu-tion; showing how some buildings have been beautifully manufactured, such grand castles centuries ago to the modern architectures we are blessed with nowadays, and how time is swiftly moving on.

    Charlotte created this series as a gift to people who do not want to lose sight of these residues that were once part of our ancestors lives, and give people a chance to chase history; something they can learn about the same way as her, either through personal interest or as a career. As a photographer Char-lotte has the romantic belief to show people what they want to see, and for some, history does just that.