The 'Documenting Medway' Zine Collection
My first 3 self-published zines that make up my 'Documenting Medway' trilogy collection.
Zine 1/3 - "Walking Wainscott" - released in 2021
Zine 2/3 - "High Street Happenings" - released in 2022
Zine 3/3 - "Once Upon A Time In Medway" - released in 2023
In May 2021 I self-published my first photo-zine entitled "Walking Wainscott", which was based on the village in Medway that I had lived since 2014.
"I’ve lived in Medway, in the South East of England, all my life. Up until the age of 19 I lived in Strood, then spent 4 years in Hoo, and the last 9 years in Wainscott, with my wife. Around the beginning of 2018, I started getting up at 6am every day, and going for short walks around my village. I found it to be a calm, quiet and peaceful start to the day, which was something I needed at that time.
Most often I’d take my camera with me too, and I began making photos of the area as I wandered about. Over time, I started to feel a real closeness to this little village in Medway, that I called home. These ‘photo walks’ became a tranquil routine for me, without expectation and without pressure of time.
Soon I became quite obsessed with documenting Wainscott, walking it’s streets day and night, whilst mindfully observing the environment, capturing scenes and collecting small parts of a story. The more I did this, the more I felt the need to preserve and give significance to this somewhat ordinary place, through my photography. For I believe there is much beauty to be found in the ordinary."
The majority of the work that went into the "Walking Wainscott" series was made during 2018, 2019, and some during the year of 2020. But near the end of 2020, it felt that W/W had come to it's natural end. And it was around this same time (December 2020) that I was inspired to begin a new project, that would ride on the back of an extremely strange and unique time period - that of a worldwide pandemic (Covid-19).
And so, part 2 of the 'Documenting Medway' trilogy was born. This work (that was made between December 2020 and May 2021) turned into a street photography zine based on Rochester High Street called "High Street Happenings". The zine features primarily my street photography, exploring the fleeting moments, movements & moods on the streets of Rochester during Covid-19, a very strange and uncertain time, as local people adapted to the "new normal" of pandemic life. I felt it was important to document this particular time period in my own way.
High Street Happenings became the 2nd instalment of my 'Documenting Medway' zine collection.
“High Street Happenings” walks you through a series of candid encounters, revealing unrepeated movements of local people in and around the famous historic High Street of Rochester.
The photographs, which were made over a 6 month period, between December 2020 and May 2021, give insight to a truly unique and unprecedented time. A time of change and great uncertainty after 9 months
into the Covid-19 pandemic, as people began returning to the High Street once again, desperately clinging to some sort of normality.
This colourful and characterful photo-book will draw out your interpretations, telling an ever-changing story, whilst you take joy in studying the details from each expression, gesture and form. Sit down and slowly observe little pieces of life, in pictures, from the streets of Rochester.
Then came the 3rd and final instalment within this 'Documenting Medway' trilogy of publications!
I titled this next publication after a photo project that I had been quietly working on in the background for the past 5 years. This work aimed to document the familiar streets of Medway, photographing the neighbourhoods I grew up in, where nostalgia is rooted deep. It was my initial purpose to find and relive memories through the act of photography. Framing empty scenes of the past, whilst exploring the places I spent much of my time as a youth. Gradually though, the project grew into much more than that.
"The images in this project attempt to reflect the diverse character, environment and atmosphere that is felt and observed on the streets of Medway. Finding pockets of beauty inside the deprivation that lingers. Capturing scraps of untold stories within the ordinary lives, forgotten spaces and old landscapes which make Medway what it is today. I hope to paint an honest and heartfelt picture, an endearing photographic record of Once Upon a Time in Medway."
Each of these zines were released as a limited edition of just 50 copies. More than anything they were an exploration, projects that reflected my relationship with my local area. Each part was an expressive body of work that I was happy to just self-publish and get out into the world. It was never my intention to make much profit on the projects, but instead to have my work affordable and available locally, to be seen and considered, to live on in the possession of others.
I am incredibly proud of these 3 publications, I'm glad I took the time to make them when I did, and that I didn't over-think the whole process. I hope they have brought some enjoyment to those who now own them.
As always, thank you to all who support my work.
I appreciate it.