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Commissioned by Assemble

“Blink and you’ll miss it” is a photo essay documenting the elusive transformation of rural Britain as experienced through a series of journeys along the planned High-Speed Rail line - HS2 - that is proposed to better link London and the North of England. 


As a new national infrastructure that promises to ‘level up’ communities North of the capital and in doing so upheave much of the country’s land in-between, HS2 itself is as transformative a project as they come. But looking beyond maps and figures, this project will also point a camera at how else the spaces around the line are being affected by change; not only through clearing land, excavations and swathes of new concrete construction, but the ways in which these apparently stable countryside scenes once reserved for grand estates, small towns and agriculture face uncertain futures at the hands of a changing food production and industrial economy, global competition, population growth, and political instability. Compounded by local environmental decline and the global ecological crisis, the image of the nostalgic and pastoral British landscape that once rooted a nation in a strong and steady shared identity is being transfigured.


Those travelling on the new HS2 line will catch but a glimpse of the country as they pass through it. This project travels at a slower pace, stretching a journey of a couple of hours into several trips lasting a number of days to allow for a more careful description of rural Britain today and to pay attention to the economic, cultural and community life that exists in the places between the great urban dots that the line will link up. 

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