Over the long weekend in Harrogate, I took off to explore the Valley Gardens and the thick woodland towards the upper reaches of this jewel of a green lung right in the middle of the town. Mrs O was not at her best and had decided to stay indoors knitting. She does not like scary woods either but she did rally and rendezvous with me in the open formal part of the gardens later. As I sidestepped and twirled my way the undergrowth avoiding canine coils, steps that Adam Cooper would have been proud of, I stumbled upon a ‘den’.

I was immediately mindful of work by Mark Edwards that was shown in The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in the Monument exhibition. His work was titled ‘Shelter‘ and although quite different in being very formal looking structures, this shelter resonated with me. It is the type of thing that my brothers and sister would build over the long summer holidays outside Liverpool, structures that we ‘owned’ and within which we could ‘shelter’ during the long days when we would be given a bottle of water and usually a grapefruit and told not to come home until teatime (dinner time for Southerners).

Den in the woods - Valley Gardens Harrogate
Den in the woods – Valley Gardens Harrogate
Den in the woods- Valley Gardens Harrogate
Den in the woods- Valley Gardens Harrogate

The B&W conversion shows some symmetry with that of Edwards’ work. The layering is not as structured but nevertheless it is still a shelter within which who knows what went on and will go on over the coming months.

For the technically minded, tripod, ISO 200,F16, 0.8s – cable release.

The original images were made on Portra 160 in the Fuji GW670III. I await their return from C41 processing. These images were made late on Sunday afternoon once the sun had dipped enough so as to not make too difficult an exposure.


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