Despite finding a new pathway for Assignment Two I decided to visit the Moss Road where I had studied, contextualised and researched. It would have been a shame to leave it without so much a full stop.
We drove slowly down to the edge of the road passing a sign that welcomed us to the South Moss Road. Brambles hung out through the wire fence and up ahead I saw several road signs. “Where’s Moss Road?” I asked.
“You’re looking at it.”
I blinked. It was the most surreal feeling, through a wooden gate reminiscent of walks trails deep in the countryside was the road. At least what I could see of the road. From the moment I stepped through the gate, I was into a strange new world, slightly disconnected from the housing estate behind me and the main road just beyond all the dense foilage. It was quite disillusioning. At my feet stood the faded markers of road signs painted on the tarmac. No matter how hard I looked I couldn’t determine what it had said. The road was a road no longer and just as the vegetation was creeping in, so too the man made elements of the road were wasting away.
I was slightly surprised; the road had been closed for several years, I thought it would have been engulfed with foilage like images reminiscent of GHGH; instead, the road had apparently been cleared to keep it open for walkers. There was a great deal of evidence to suggest the walkers had been accompanied by dogs. It was disgusting because this place was not as monitored, owners thought they could just use it as their dogs personal bathroom. I thought if I’d had the stomach, that itself would have told a story but I imagined the look of horror my Mum would have given me…and my own stomach of course.
We walked along, trees reached to the sky among swathes of grasses and tangled briars reached out into the road. If it wasn’t for the maintenance of the path these briars would have provided a carpet to walk on. As it was no matter how much it was cut back they pushed out into the road constant, unrelenting. I took a photo and it reminded me of the cover image for Edgelands with the poor rabbit lying on the painted white line. The edge of the carriageway was the only sign that this was not a conventional path. I took photos as I went along focusing on the line and the life that was reaching out over it, nature wanted to take over this place but man kept cutting it back. An eternal struggle. The road may not have have been completely abandoned like I first thought that but nature was adamant. Brambles on the left reached out to briars on the right, a desperation to hold hands, to connect, to start forming a tangled bridge.
No matter how hard you try and tame it, it will never be truly tamed. My mobility scooter provided an excellent dolly and I held my iPhone out recording a time lapse as I drove along the white line.
Here are some of the final images in a photobook to create the feeling of a journey using the edge of the carrigeaway as the guide.
Now I’m torn, I like both this idea but my other assignment idea of the trees calls to me, even though it means starting from scratch, spending more time, re shooting, I feel called to it in a way I can’t explain.
I’m aware I need to choose a theme for Assignment now and follow it through, I’ve already spent longer than I would have wished getting to Assignment Two but I feel at first I was a little out of my depth, now I’ve found a voice and the confidence. I always feel I need to feel passionate about the assignment, I need the cog to slip into place that feels just right. Perhaps I’ve waited too long for that cog, but personally I can’t work on a rusty system with scraping cogs, call it what you may, but I always feel that when something doesn’t work, there’s a reason, when there’s no passion it’s because you haven’t found the right part yet.