z e r o
brief : I have always been attracted to what is undoubtedly the world's most notorious urban environment - America. In 2004 I decided that I would attempt to penetrate this immense and contradictory environment, both photographically and intellectually. What I learned, and the images I took shocked me. Whilst on the surface America claims to be the land of dreams and social justice, I soon realised that in actuality, this was a place of massive social injustice, consumerist obsession and political naiveté. During my five week visit to the United States, I discovered that the themes that were so prevalent in my UK black and white photography, were ever more so here. I began to relate to the inherent sadness evident in Robert Frank's seminal black and white photography work The Americans. I too noticed the isolation, detachment and superficiality that exists in this country, against a backdrop of huge buildings, big cars, misguided patriotism and deceitful journalism.
In the final days of my visit, I was in New York for the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Documenting the emotion at Ground Zero on that day gives this work closure and deeper political connotations. No-one will question the atrocity of these attacks, but it is wrong not to question the reasons why America is perceived in the way that it is, and why so many American citizens are ignorant of reality beyond their own borders.
I am not anti-American, but it is clear from America's domestic and international record that things must change radically if this country is to regain the moral high ground, and set the right example as the world's richest and most powerful nation state.
On my return from America, I spent nine months producing this work into a hardback book. The 1500 images shot were examined and edited into the final sequence of 69. The professionally designed book was then printed utilising a high quality lithographic printing process to give accurate rendition to the black and white photography. Since its publication zero has received critical acclaim from the British photographic press, and you can purchase one of the 200 limited edition copies from this website at a discounted price. Here is an excerpt of some of the images from the book...
influences : The Americans - Robert Frank / Figments from the Real World - Garry Winogrand / Diane Arbus / Lee Friedlander / Adbusters magazine
equipment : Contax G2, 21mm Biogon Lens, Ilford HP5 black and white photography film
keywords : black and white photography, photo, photos, picture, pictures, urban america, Robert Frank The Americans, Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, nyc, new york, new york city, manhattan, street photography, ground zero, 9/11 attacks, 9/11 anniversary, black and white photography