On 26 January 1909, John sent Miss Essie a postcard saying he was on his way south. She never got the postcard, but 101 years later I happened to be the one to receive this message. This apparently banal, chance event intrigued me and gave fresh impetus to a work I’d started some months earlier.
Spurred on by John’s postcard to Essie Turner, the Almost There project got under way with a series of photographs which, rather like a prelude, raised the issue of the journey as a piece of personal research and the impossibility of arriving at the set destination. Frustration.
Travelling in general and travelling to far-flung places in particular have formed part of my photograph- ic work since my very first projects. But for the first time I realised that what I was desperately seeking outside might actually lie inside.
This was my initial approach for undertaking a strange, new exploration that was very different to my previous ones, a journey inwards and outwards to see things up close and from afar. This venture brought me no true or specific answers, but it did make me think about the concept of travelling and distance and everything in between.
As a result, the project began by presenting different images showing different places at radically far- away physical distances.
Almost There also explores the question of physical distance in this constant quest to photograph the impossible, namely the emotional proximity that ties us to extremely far-off places — in both space and time — ie places we’ve never been or to which we can never return.