To Build A Home

30 January 2020

Amanda Jackson

Image by Amanda Jackson
Image copyright – Amanda Jackson

To Build A Home

The series To Build A Home – a study of the people of Lammas Tir Y Gafel Eco Village and the surrounding community focuses on the North Pembrokeshire settlement near Glandwr.

My approach to photography is to get to know my subjects well, allowing me to create intimate portraits of the people within their surroundings. During my first photography shoot with Lammas in 2010 I fell in love with the area, the people and the way of life. So much so that in early 2011, I relocated to live beside the village and I now have my own land nearby. In 2013 I received a grant from the Arts Council of Wales to produce this series, which is all shot on medium format colour film.

The series not only looks at the 9 plots and the people that make up Lammas but also looks at the people surrounding the eco village as they are very much part of the community. While some already lived in the area before the eco village came about in 2009, others moved there and bought their own land after volunteering at the eco village. Also key to the community are the volunteers that come to help on people’s plots, sometimes short term, often they embrace the way of life and stay for a few months or indefinitely.

As well as capturing the day to day activities, I aim to show a mix of community life through the people that live there. Some of the photographs will not only meet expectations of what living in an Eco Village would be like, but feel familiar; others will surprise. In photographs such as YouTube Friday we see how the people are embracing modern day technology but in a sustainable way, using hydroelectricity.

In a society that increasingly shelters children from harm, perhaps at the expense of freedom, the photographs of the children of the village may invoke anything from wistfulness to fear in the viewers. These children are free to roam away from busy main roads, but also live and play in an ongoing construction site. We also see adults, including parents, working their plots or enjoying some down time.

Through these photos, the viewer gets a glimpse into the lives of these people living a way of life that used to be ordinary but now must be chosen. Sometimes contradictory, often humorous, these photographs evoke a timelessness while capturing a growing modern movement.

Amanda Jackson’s Bio

Amanda Jackson is a freelance photographer based in Malvern, Worcestershire, though she also spends much of her time living in a little retro caravan in Pembrokeshire when working on the To Build  A Home series.

She is passionate about sustainable living and environmental issues and her photography work has a strong emphasis on this. In 2014 she was commissioned by FotoDocument and Photoworks to create a photographic series based on the One Planet Living principal of Sustainable Materials.

In 2015, Amanda was shortlisted for the Environmental Photographer of the Year.

Her work has been in several publications including: The Guardian; The Observer; The Independent; Self Build and Design magazine; Blogosphere Magazine; Marie Claire, Photoworks Annual (Issue 21) and One Planet Life.

She has recently had exhibitions at Ffotogallery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Oriel Mwldan, Oriel Colwyn, the Reclaim Photography Festival in Birmingham and the Brighton Biennial.

The National Library of Wales holds a selection of photographs from the series To Build a Home in their archives.

Amanda Jackson’s website

Open evening agenda

Welcome to our 6x6 launch event for Amanda Jackson’s To Build a Home exhibition here at the Lightbox Gallery at Ropes & Twines.

Amanda will introduce her practice and her project via a presentation to start the evening off.

Following on from Amanda, Steve Clarke will hold a twenty minute talk titled, In Need of Modernisation. A presentation of several photographers who have photographed interiors and about the difference between estate agent photography and ‘art photography’. Steve is a lecturer at Chester University.