The tradition of ‘gossiping over the fence’ was a commonality, when neighbourhoods were a communal environment rather than individuals simply living in houses amongst each other. This pastime has gradually become a rarity, existing now predominantly in the elderly community who may be accustomed to this behaviour. Due to advances in technology, there is little need to communicate face-to-face anymore, particularly with those you consider to be acquaintances (such as neighbours), and social media may be a large influence of the lack of neighbourhood camaraderie in recent years.
As an extension, neighbourly feuds are now much more likely to develop than they were in the days of gossiping over the fence, due to compression of communities as the world grows – things as minor as car parking and bin placement can cause communities to divide and clash, particularly with the formation of ‘cliques’ that would have been much rarer decades ago.
Traditional 6ft Fence Panels:
A high wooden fence such as this suggests a blunt mark of territorial boundaries, without welcoming your surrounding neighbours, even for a friendly chat. The fence is blunt and boring, but is a commonality nowadays. Fence height can occasionally also be the cause of neighbourly arguments, as individuals suggest the height blocks sun or is simply an eyesore.
A lattice can make your fence appear more detailed and interesting, but manipulating the height can influence the true effect you are aiming to portray to your neighbours. A high fence has a similar impact to the standard 6ft fence, closing you off from those surrounding you, whereas a short fence welcomes communication whilst simultaneously suggesting your boundary in a non-offensive manner. Both are friendlier than a regular, high fence panel.
A picket fence is a much older style, and was particularly common in the days of gossiping over the fence. It is friendly and inoffensive, and allows neighbours to see into the local gardens, encouraging engagement. The fences are easily climbed, which may have been appealing and practical for children, when playing outside together was more appealing to the youthful mind than a video game or television.
Wire Mesh Fencing:
Whilst partially maintaining the friendliness of a low fence, such as a picket fence, the wire also has connotations of industrialism and harshness, causing a blatant divide. These are efficient for keeping neighbouring animals out of your garden, whilst also allowing the community to engage with you across the fence.
Rope and chain fences are more of a division than a fence, and are more common in front gardens (as pictured) than back gardens. A rope fence is friendlier than that of a heavy chain, which can appear blunt or threatening. Whilst marking a division, these also appear reasonably welcoming, although breaking the border, particularly on grass or flowerbeds, may not be as welcome as it seems.
I felt that this triptych was an empowering result of the technique, as the trees are united in their similar backgrounds and lack of scenery, yet maintain their independent qualities that portray to the audience that they are not in fact the same tree. This is interesting as portraying three alternative subjects so similarly is difficult to achieve successfully, without allowing the landscape or surroundings to manipulate the balance of your results.
Misha Gregory Macaw
Similarly to the work of Carver, Misha Gregory Macaw also used the subject of a tree upon a cloudy background to create a powerful, statement piece. However, alternatively to Carver’s style, Macaw has angled her photographs from below, manipulating the perspective of the tree to create a dramatic silhouette that enhances the branches and twigs.
Larson is the first triptych photographer that I found that used the technique to create a flowing image, whereby the three pieces combined to portray a landscape as though it were one image. This is particularly effective due to the fact that only one of the pieces portrays the subject of interest – a horse. This makes the other outcomes, whilst still well executed, almost irrelevant. However, when placed as a group they, as a series, are much more powerful than if the third image were presented alone.
Terence Davis portrays collections featuring nature and scenery, none of which necessarily flow or have any real commonality, but are united in their natural beauty and monochrome presentation. The lack of colour draws silhouettes out from the bright backgrounds, whereas colour may have allowed the trees to blend into the scenery, or colour may have generally detracted from the impact of the stark, dark areas.
As a more interesting twist on the concept of portraying one image as three, Hicks uses this effect to show perspective and depth, shown here with the use of a corner. This appealed to me as an alternative use of triptychs, which most photographers use to portray a collection of outcomes or an individual outcome from an individual perspective. Using alternate perspectives was an innovative and artistic choice, which draws the audience into the piece.
Harlow was built following the effects of World War II, in order to decrease the overcrowding in London. The developments were situated around Old Harlow, and the developed space became known as Harlow New Town.
Designed by Frederick Gibberd, aspects of archeology, landscaping and roadworks were all condensed to create a ‘utopia’ of urban activity within the new town. However, Gibberd carefully researched and developed his plans with a gentle respect for the natural space around us, using the rolling hills as a shoulder for the community to nestle into, which not only gave the residents a nice view but was also intended to restrict the development of the town from travelling too far afield. Large natural spaces were used to divide the town’s neighbourhoods, which were known thereafter as ‘Green Wedges’, which further enhanced the rural feel within the town. Each neighbourhood possessed it’s own retail and community facilities, as well as pubs, allowing them to be independent. Furthermore, the town possessed an extensive network of cycle tracks in order to accommodate the large number of people who travelled by bicycle rather than cars, at that time.
The surroundings of Harlow include protected land, called Green Belt land, which has origins around London. This concept was developed to contain built up areas from over-spreading, and this limits the expansion of the town in a positive way. As well as this, the River Stort flows through Harlow, which parts to create pools, ponds and streams throughout the town, creating an range of atmospheric, wildlife-infused areas. These are typically uncommon qualities for such an urbanised space to have, but link back to Gibberd’s ideologies of natural spaces, enforced initially via the use of Green Wedges.
Initially, the culture of Harlow was predominantly focused on the development of manufacturing and providing jobs for the people of the town, which was such an important aspect of the community that residents were required to work in Harlow to live there. The first manufacturing business within Harlow was a biscuit factory, based in the Pinnacles industrial estate, which provided employment to residents for upwards of fifty years (with a peak employment of five hundred at any one time) before it’s closure in 2002.
This self-sufficient, idealistic environment has transformed greatly to become what is now predominantly a base for commuting, be that to London or Stansted, amongst other less significant connections local to the town. These are encouraged by the network of public transport, including extensive bus services travelling outside of the town (to locations such as Bishops Stortford, Stansted etc.) as well as two train stations. While Harlow Mill train station is often overlooked, the Harlow Town station is well recognised, and has enough demand that it is included in the stops on several express lines. Although still a hub for retail activity, Harlow is decreasingly a place for manufacture or substantial career, and is more-so a residential environment today.
With residential appeal, Harlow welcomes a wide variety of cultures. Despite the media presenting the town as being a racist community following acts of violence against foreign individuals, the town remains a home to a variety of cultural differences, and embraces this. The relatively small town is home to several permanent gypsy camp sites – a community often rejected and disapproved of by alternative locations. Furthermore, the town centre hosts a wide variety of shops, including supermarkets owned by and supporting Eastern Europeans and Pakistanis, amongst others. The market for alternative cuisine is a significant sign that a selection of cultures are thriving in Harlow, suggesting that the perception offered by the media is incorrect.
Harlow offers an education system that supports individuals throughout their learning career. With facilities ranging from pre-school to university spanning the town, Harlow is an enticing location for parents or parents-to-be, offering a potentially highly reputable education. Harlow College, for example, is a highly commended college offering a wide variety of courses, including several that are rarely seen elsewhere, with quality supporting facilities.
The documentary series ‘Educating Essex’ was produced in order to investigate social cliches and stereotypes, and was based at secondary school Passmores, located in Harlow. The ‘fly-on-the-wall’ show was highly enjoyed by a wide audience as a comical portrayal of life in the education system, be that as a teacher or a pupil. However, criticism was received as the series presented profanity on behalf of both teachers and students, bullying and even teen pregnancy. Whilst many saw this as simply a television show, some individuals believe it was irresponsible for those featured in the programme to allow their home town to be presented so negatively within the media through their actions. Following the closure of the series, a student, Dean, was also seen on a series detached from Educating Essex – Life on the Dole. Although this may suggest a negative progression, personalities such as Victoria Beckham and Jade Goody originated in this small little town and progressed to become successful, and are considered celebrities.
Sculpture and arts culture – Playhouse, Galleries, Studios etc
Future predictions – housing developments, new cinema, lack of shops in town centre, decrease in retail
Personal views – education, life in harlow, entertainment in harlow