About Dissolution

Dissolution is a series of photographs depicting the ruins of monasteries forcibly closed and stripped by Henry VIII during the English Reformation in the sixteenth century. The shells of some of these great buildings still stand, scattered across the country. Most of these images were made while I was living, unemployed, in the North of England. I haunted these complex sites with their strong resonance of sacredness echoing against the evidence of ancient violence and present ruin. As I photographed in these places my camera started to malfunction and I had no means of repairing it. As a result the photographs also became a document of the slow breaking of the camera that I could not afford to repair. This series explores the thinning of barriers between rational design and chaotic decay, between certainty and confusion, memory and imagination, searching among the dissolving forms for the fleeting moment of understanding.