The University of The West of England, Bristol graduate Alex Ingram was featured on Photograd previously with his series David's House. The series was published into a photobook in 2016 and Alex is now working in a new series of work, The Gatekeepers, which featured in the first edition of our zine, PGZ129, released earlier this year.
We introduce you here to images from The Gatekeepers which is currently a work in progress as Alex continues to return to the islands to make more images.
Scattered across the small islands surrounding the UK live lone wardens, spending their lives in quiet solidarity, away from the crowded, overpopulated landscapes of our urban world. Their role: to maintain and manage the preservation of their islands natural beauty and wildlife for future generations, whilst conducting research into these incredibly delicate ecosystems.
With limited access to the mainland during the winter months, no fresh running water, and under constant attack from harsh storms and perilous currents that can see them marooned for weeks at a time, it is not a role many are suited for.
What is it like living so close to the mainland, but yet so far removed from social norms? How do they cope when the currents are too strong to make it back over for fresh food and supplies? What is it like living without the modern day technologies that we take for granted? And how do they adapt and overcome these daily obstacles with limited human contact?
Over the next two years, these are the questions I want to explore. I will be visiting these remote islands and spending time with the wardens that have chosen to spend their lives there, in the hopes of better understanding what life is like living in some of the most beautiful, yet inhospitable landscapes in the UK.
In a world that is changing at a rapid pace, I want to question how this simplistic way of life fits within our modern world.