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In Common - Claudia Leisinger

£8.00

*** Available to pre-order ***
Due for release Jan 2022

FIELD NOTES 042

32 pp / 190 x 230mm
Staple Bound
Fedrigoni paper
First edition of 100
FN042

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My motivation for this ongoing series is to renew an instinctive, playful way of looking while connecting to my environment; almost unconsciously photographing before thoughts form. Mitcham Common in South London is a very mysterious place. It is wild and beautiful, carelessly abandoned, with very few people: a real colliding space of urban decay and natural growth. It is also where I go for walks with my dog Stella. Over the past few years my connection with the Common changed. It became more personal and more intimate, especially during the Covid-19 lockdowns. While my life became more domesticated, this space became my refuge, a wilderness I could immerse myself and find solace in.

Observing my need for this natural connection, the idea of “Dasein” became of keen interest. A term used by the philosopher Martin Heidegger to describe us humans as being within the world, closely connected to it. We are embedded in our environment and not separate from it. But how can we communicate this very simple fact?

Looking through my photographs of the Common, I was surprised by the tenderness that these images seem to share. I feel I have created a love letter to this open space – pictures that mirror my acceptance of a place in the outside world. Maybe this trigger of joy allowed me to bypass my conscious brain after all, revealing something of that delicate and wordless connection. That, at least, is my hope.

I want this series to feel immersive, like an embrace. To fall into the beautiful chaos. To show the already present, natural structures that surround us and are there whenever we look for them. I don’t want the landscape to be “presented” to an audience, to be altered to please us or to display order and patterns. I believe that we all have in common the ability to reconnect with our existing environment, to feel rooted within it and to forge a relationship that can resonate with the wider world.

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FIELD NOTES is a series of affordable zines showcasing photography projects which explore our relationship with 'place'.