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© Steve Jones

© Steve Jones

© Peter Luck

© Keith Ellis

The meeting was devoted to a round-up of work on the Swanscombe Project beginning with Steve Jones’ presentation of both infra-red and colour images taken on the group walk last July – a very glum, rainy day – and continuing with Peter Luck giving a rapid run-through of local history and some photos from the 2013 iteration of the project before throwing the meeting open for others to talk about their intentions.

Steve’s contrasting images provoked a discussion on the tendencies of different techniques to emphasise different qualities of the place. A worry felt by some was that the drama of the infra-red might tend towards claiming hostility as a characteristic of the Marsh, while others (mostly those new to the Marsh) felt it reflected their experience quite closely. Under this there is the question of who the photographer’s intended viewers might be. This then came back in the discussion following Peter’s presentation when each of those able to take part in the project spoke of their own intentions. Several were interested in Mike Seaborne’s proposed film on the conflicting desires for the future of the Marsh, broadly the theme park vs the combined requirements of retained bio-diversity and existing local employment. Others were interested in documenting the industrial zones or moving in close-up to the natural habitats or, again, investigating the potential of non-standard techniques to account for the place. It remains open when, where or whether there will be an exhibition but the Swanscombe Project will meet again in about three months’ time to assess progress and firm up plans for the continuance and presentation of the project. This will be a meeting separate from the run of regular Crossing Lines meetings. The next of the regulars will be on 5 January 2022.
Peter Luck