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Welcome to Mike Pickwell's photography site

I am a photographer living in the east of England and am currently completing my BA in photography with the Open College of the Arts. My background is in traditional photographic representations of wildlife and landscape, but as I have progressed through my studies I have begun to question the ways I represent the world. My current work is inspired by wilderness and the natural world which I explore by walking. Wilderness or wildness can mean anything from an untidy garden through to desert; or, according to the Oxford dictionary, anywhere in its natural state and not civilised, domesticated, tamed, cultivated or populated. My inspiration is not the wilderness of wide-open spaces but wilderness on a much smaller scale. Robert MacFarlane writes 'I had started to refocus. I was becoming interested in this understanding of wildness not as something which was hived off from human life, but which existed unexpectedly around and within it: in cities, backyards, roadsides, hedges, field boundaries or spinnies.' The mountaineer, W.H. Murray, also wrote of the same experience as long ago as 1951. 'Through the very uncertainties of our climb my mind became unusually observant, embracing many simple things that commonly pass unregarded. While searching for a handhold the eye would alight on a blade of grass peeping from a crack, and see the amazing grace of its fluting, the fresh brightness of its green against the rock; and although the joy was that of one second the memory lived on.' My work is now beginning to focus on wilderness on a smaller scale: woodland footpaths or the way an old brick wall is reclaimed by the wild. It is informed by photographers and artists such as Eliot Porter, Paul Gaffney, Hamish Fulton and Richard Long all of whom portray wilderness, often by walking.

My latest Blogs can be found on my Blog site Mike's Natural Musings