If These Walls (1)

"Obsession is a good quality in a photographer". Martin Parr.

It might be true of your life, as it is of mine, that sometimes you can't get enough of something. Sunshine, chocolate, a particular friend, a TV show, a great book. A photographer can be driven by the need to create photographs of a particular type of thing, or event, or place or person, over and again.

I was seized by this passion recently in Sardinia. Orosei is a typical village with new and old homes crammed into a web of narrow medieval streets and alleys. Walking in such a confined environment directs your attention to the constant, metre by metre, contrasts of age, tone, colour, form and texture presented by every wall and doorway. The depredations of time and nature sit alongside fresh renovations, waiting their turn - perhaps - for the paint brush and trowel. Simple surfaces - like a rendered wall - can become pages for the bold calligraphic downstroke of a drainpipe or the ephemeral presence of the shadow cast by a grating.  

Exploring and understanding small urban spaces like these - as well as those closer to home - feels like it's becoming a new area of interest. How we choose to use, mark, arrange, refresh and sometimes neglect small spaces seems to have as significant an influence on our experience of the built environment as bigger projects and structures like roads or apartment buildings. We are surrounded by them and they make up, in increments, every footstep of our urban journeys.