Eleri Griffiths. Tinkers Bubble

Griffiths’ project on tinkers bubble began in 1994. The images present the lives of people living in a 40 acre eco village, using only sustainable materials and looking after all the land. Although the eco system in tinkers bubble is remarkable, I wouldn’t say the subject matter is that unusual to what we see in sustainable documentaries. What is striking, is her use of light and togetherness in the community.

From the photographs, I really get a sense of support, sustainability and family, but also how hard the individuals work for their land. The lighting in all the images is strong, using the available light to create flattering highlights and shadows that pick out the key elements of the frames. I feel to get images such as this, the photographer would’ve had a close connection with the people to get such intimate frames, for the subjects to feel confident and relaxed in front of her. The majority of the frames seem natural, although one that does stand out to me is the two children (bottom right in the grid) that have obviously been posed for the picture in the correct stance and lighting. I feel images like this are helpful to define characters, to set the scene. It presents them to us in a form which says, this is where we live and what we look like, instead of presenting characteristics of their lives.

The project includes not only portraits of the people, but simple images of what they make and do. I feel these are important to provide extra context, as the community is not about them, it is about their mutual respect for the landscape. I think this really comes through in this project, and has reminded me that surrounding shots are just as important as the ones that present the people and their narrative.



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