Forgotten Norfolk by Brian Wells
Ruins often capture the imagination with their ability to elicit stories. They, and images of them, act as a window into our recent history; the silent rooms, dust covered furniture, decay and the discarded objects left behind, all echo our human past.
‘I feel that one of the most powerful aspects of a ruin is the subject that’s missing in the photograph – the people who once worked and lived in these places. Their presence can still be felt.’
With an unerring eye for uncanny detail which characterises these remnants of human habitation – in an era where remains of the past are often swiftly obliterated by development – Brian Wells observes and records not just the past and how its traces continue to haunt us, but how time passes: the transient nature of life and the residue of our existence in this, an Anthropocene landscape.
Brian first became interested in photography at school in the mid-1980s, inspired by his photography teacher. The school had a collection of Cosmic, Kiev, and Zenit cameras for students to use, and a basic darkroom to start to learn the process of bringing an image into the light. This gave him a basis to begin developing his skills as a photographer.
After leaving school he took a job at a local press agency, where he learnt all aspects of photography, from capturing images right through to the alchemy of processing and printing.
Brian went back to college and studied photography in Kings Lynn under the tuition of John Hansell. It was during this time that he acquired his first medium format camera – a Rolleiflex T, bought from equestrian and portrait photographer Ruth Dwornik. She insisted that the camera went to a good home; it did. He still uses the camera today.
Brian has since worked at various holiday parks throughout East Anglia, including Pontins, Potters, Vauxhall Holiday Park, and Kessingland Beach, and as a publicity photographer for the Arts Regeneration Agency.
Brian has had work published in numerous magazines and books. He continues to take photos using traditional techniques, and is now concentrating on continuing to capture Forgotten Norfolk.
All the photographs in this book are taken using his Rolleiflex T and are shot on Fujifilm Velvia transparency film using only available light.
You can see more of Brian Wells’ work at norfolkinruins.co.uk.
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