Historical re-enactment

I studied history at Cambridge and have never stopped reading academic studies of the English Civil War and other, mainly early modern periods. Once I became interested in photography, history-related projects were in the back of my mind but never came to anything until one summer weekend when I wasn’t doing anything and heard of a large multi-period re-enactment event nearby. Straight away I realized that I had a new subject for photography, and in hindsight it seems obvious that it would turn into a 15 year project.

Apart from appreciating historical details, I also found it brought together other influences. One was that I had grown up reading newspapers and had always admired war reportage – above all, Don McCullin’s work in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and Lebanon. Another is my knowledge of art history, and sometimes I’m photographing a scene when suddenly it reminds me of Uccello or Breughel, for instance, or a Grant Wood on another occasion.