I was born in the English New Town of Milton Keynes in the 1980s when much of it was still fields. It had been conceived, in the 1960s, as a radical solution to the post-war housing crisis and as an opportunity to create a utopian city of the future in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Recently, I went back to find that a place designed to make perfect sense had ended up making no sense at all.
Central Milton Keynes is like an out-of-town shopping mall. Underpasses, overpasses and self-contained shopping areas ensure pedestrians and cars are kept apart. On its outskirts, high-speed roads are littered with blocked exits and unfinished slip roads which wait for new housing estates and industrial units to be built. In between, housing developments with names like Oakgrove, Newlands, and Springfield fill the gap. The town has seen phenomenal growth over its relatively short lifespan – today nearly a quarter of a million people call it home.
I studied Photojournalism at the London College of Printing and Architectural Design at the University of Edinburgh. Pastures New currently exists as a book dummy of forty-six photographs, sixteen of which are shown here. A lightbox installation of the project was exhibited in Milton Keynes as part of the town’s fortieth birthday celebrations. It has also been nominated for the Creative Review Futures Awards, the Creative Review Photography Annual, the Picture Editors’ Awards, and the Guardian Student Media Award.
“Let’s Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All The Way Out In Bushnell” by Sufjan Stevens.
Used with permission.