Growing up in Milton Keynes during the 1980’s and 1990’s, I didn’t ever question my surroundings, this came a few years after leaving. I began to consider the initial planning and ongoing development of the city. This carefully controlled city with an absence of any natural influence wasn’t part of my every day life anymore. Going back made me more aware of this planned environment. I began to notice a sense of control through design; everything was manufactured and kept, nothing out of place. Even what was natural had a sense of order to it, trees the same distance apart…
I began a collection of work during 2003 which is an ongoing piece. This is the first attempt to go back and photograph Milton Keynes. This work can be set out in two parts, at present I just call these Part A and B.
MK2003 Part A
My initial focus centred on the control of a society, through the design and construction of its environment.
The result of this work is shown in these four images which show four different aspects of city planning. Each image is carefully composed in order to show the regimented lines and order within the scene. I have always joked that if you live in Milton Keynes for some time it becomes a part of you, you will want to see order and symmetry in things.
MK2003 Part B
The following pieces were taken from a mixture of ideas I was working on. The road to nowhere had been pointed out to me as unusual, with the mound of earth and speed signs already in place. I had wanted to photograph one of the very popular man made lakes in Milton Keynes and show its beauty. The use of trees in Milton Keynes was of interest to me and I wanted to show a tree lined estate that is so typical of many in Milton Keynes.
Trees in Milton Keynes 2004
This work evolved from previous pieces and documents the trees in Milton Keynes. Trees have always been an important element of Milton Keynes, which is keen to be seen as a green city. These trees also add decoration and colour and compliment the clean lines and architecture of the city. They are specifically placed to line a road or add colour in the centre but are tamed and controlled to meet the purpose of design in the city.