Thursday, 2 December 2010

Rural Street Photography

Rural street photography is a new one on me but a term I know I am going to like ... a lot!  Siegfried Hansen (this week's SPN photographer) recommended we should take a look at the work of Kate Kirkwood with regards street photography outside of cities. I am so pleased I did as her work I have found to be very exciting in a number of ways.

I looked through her recent work on flickr and liked her approach to her 'rural' street photography.  Her style was fresh with a distinct eye. Inspired I then popped over to her website. To my surprise she resides in the Lakes and Gallery 1 gives you a flavour of her interpretation of the landscape.  Her work morphs street photography with landscape photography which is a strange combination.  

This is the first piece of work I have seen that has a sympathetic, genuine and unique eye in photographing the living landscape of the Lake District.  For many years, I have seen so many images that show what the Lakes is famous for - beautiful images of a beautiful landscape (I have taken many like this myself).  But imo (and I very much include my own landscapes in this) very few share a truly unique or distinctive voice. I don't wish to be negative or disrespectful at all. Perhaps because I live here and am not wishing to 'relive' holiday memories, I'm looking for more from an image than the stunning scenery. I have found so few images that have cut through the physical beauty of the Lakes to its core.  I really feel that Kate's work does and this inspires me.  

To provide a bit of blurb from her website
I am a photographer working from a farm base in the Lake District in England. Learning to take photographs has been something I have done in the between times, inspired by the environment I live in and by poring over the images of celebrated photographers. In March 2007 I was invited to present my work-in-progress to a workshop on street photography at Photofusion Gallery in London, as an exploration of the possibilities of 'rural' street photography, and later that year I set out to accumulate a serious portfolio after a photograph of mine was selected as one of the final 40 in Tate Modern's 'How We Are Now' competition. That image can be seen in the Tate archive here, and in Gallery I on this website.
The other aspect that interests me is the term 'rural' street photography which somehow legitimises street photography in rural areas such as the Lakes.  For me a creative door has just opened...

Note: I can't help feeling the more great work I see, the more I feel I'm wading through mud or drifting away with the tide in terms of where I would like my own photography to be and where it actually is...stick with it, stop being negative, keep trying...I need to take heed of the advice I am constantly giving the kids!


  1. I hadn't heard of Kate Kirkwood before reading this but, having had a quick run through her galleries, will now be looking out for her.

  2. I like her work very much indeed. Great find Penny - thanks for sharing.