Derby Arboretum

DERBY ARBORETUM: The first specially designed urban public park in Britain opened in 1840. Living within a two minute walk from the park, enabled me to photograph with regularity during 2017/18 in this location. This began a period of introspection as I contemplated my retirement from teaching in 2018. What had been achieved? What had it meant? What next? Readjusting to the new circumstances made me reassess why photography? Minor White perhaps described it best; “The camera leads me back into the world – I do not wish to isolate out of it, but to return to it, to keep in touch with it”. How poignant that sounds now as I write this in lockdown isolation, May 2020. These photographs remind me of the pleasures of the medium – its realism – and looking with the “thinkers gaze”. Why so much grass? From the moment I read this line from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, I never looked at grass the same way again; “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars”.