Between the years of 2006 and 2010, Mark Power, working in collaboration with poet Daniel Cockrill, made several road trips across England, stopping at a number of towns and cities along the way. Their aim was to gain a better insight into the modern spirit of nationalism as well as notions of Englishness, both concepts that were generating much discussion at the time. As they progressed with their project, they witnessed their country slide into recession and the government introduce austerity measures, although little seemed to alter in the fabric of the landscape.
What they did notice however was the gradual shift in mood towards one of animosity, wherein people looked to lay blame with particular groups – namely immigrants – for the perceived downturn. In an attempt to delve into this state of mind, Cockrill produced poems while Power captured the physical backdrop of these communities. “I keep a physical and metaphorical distance between myself and the subject,” Power has said of his process, “yet I remain deeply connected. One might call it an intimate distance.”
Although they concluded the work in 2010 with an exhibition in London, it was not until recently that the work has been available in book form. Looking at the work now, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s possible to sense the changing mood in the country, of which the BREXIT vote was perhaps the sad but inevitable conclusion.
1st Edition. Limited to 1,500 copies. Signed by Mark Power.