Fenlands

‘Fenlands’ is a series of 10 photographic sequences documenting journeys through the Fenlands in East Anglia, UK. The area is a low-lying arable region – originally marshland that was drained and reclaimed as farming land in the 17th century – which predominantly lies beneath sea level and has a series of drainage banks protecting the area from flooding. The landscape is flat and minimal, creating very bleak but beautiful views. The city of Cambridge, where I am based, lies at the southern border of the region.


When I first went to art college the campus was based in Wisbech, a town in the heart of the region, so every Monday and Friday I would travel back and forth to my home through the Fens. At first, living during the week in the region was a huge culture shock, and I felt a sense of displacement, especially coming from such an international university city like Cambridge. Over time though I’ve come to love the area, and take any opportunity to visit, although the feeling of displacement is still there. Somebody once told me that if you travel due North from Wisbech, there is only 10 miles of land between you and the North Pole. I’m not sure if this is true, but this has always stuck in my head and stayed with me, and I’ve always found it kind of fitting for the area.

 © 2020 by David Houghton

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