The University of the West of England 2016 graduate Alex Ingram is releasing a book for his new body of work, David's House. The official launch takes place in St David's itself on 28th July where there'll be signed prints and brand new books to purchase. We can't wait to talk to Alex more about the launch and his book in his upcoming Photograd Feature!
Images from the series David's House
St Davids is a city founded on the desire for seclusion. As the United Kingdom’s smallest city, both in terms of size and population, it shelters on the most westerly tip of Wales, surrounded on three sides by vast expanses of open water, where the last shards of land stand strong against the crashing waves and perilous currents of The Bitches. It is a landscape that has been shaped by nature and in turn has shaped the inhabitants of this community, who have learnt to live and adapt to its remote geographical location in quiet solidarity.
The writer, Thomas Mann saw in solitude something that “gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous”. The return to my hometown after four years away has enabled me to consider St Davids and its people through fresh eyes, examining their relationship with the landscape and the connections and fellowships that have formed within this tight knit community. The people that live there have a connection with one another that goes far beyond just a postcode. They have a patriotism for the place. This book aims to give voice to some of the individuals that inhabit the landscape, and the stories they have to tell.
Series length and influences
I tend to work on projects for a relatively short amount of time, but I have been working on my most recent project, David’s House for just under a year. The project all started with my neighbour Dai and my relationship with him. He has spent his entire life living within a three-mile radius of where he grew up, with no real interest of living anywhere else. For him, St Davids offered everything he wanted in life, and he used to tell me all about his life and his experiences growing up here. I on the other hand felt that St Davids didn’t really offer me what I wanted, and this project was an exploration of my relationship with the place that I grew up, and how it has impacted not just my life, but the lives of every individual that lives there. Dai was the main influence for this project. I was fascinated by his happy little life in this little part of the world, and I wanted to expand my project to the wider community and explore how St Davids has impacted their lives.
Creating the work
I have always had a massive interest in photobooks and the role that they have in photography, and for me, it is the perfect way of viewing an image. I think it is incredibly difficult to make a successful photobook as there are so many fundamentals that you need to consider, from the size of the book, the edit, the order in which the images are displayed, right down to the paper stock. You need to get all of these things right in order for the book to be a success, and I spent a long time trying to figure all this out.
Is the series finished?
I don’t really consider the project to be finished. I have photographed 48 people over the course of the project, but there are 1891 people living in St Davids. Once I have photographed them all and heard all their stories, that is when I will consider the project finished.