Bastard Countryside is the struggle between humanity and nature, two contrasting forces fighting for control. But there’s also a part that resides someplace else; in a fictive realm that gestures towards some unknown, a less certain landscape. With a feeling of things left behind and what is still to come, these photographs tap into our cultural anxiety of what the future holds.
When I first began working on this project the world was a different place. It was 2003 and I was just beginning to hone my skills as a picture maker. A lot has since changed. I now have a young family and can’t help but wonder what kind of world we are leaving behind for the generations to come. Although the series has been made in the UK, the subjects and themes are global and invite the viewer to reflect on the actions that have shaped and shifted the spaces they interact with.
This piece is part of the Bastard Countryside: a series of 50 photographs, shot on 5x4 large format film, made over 15 years.
Friend's work has exhibited at the National Gallery, Somerset House & Royal Academy of Arts in London; Aperture Gallery in NY; Christies Paris; and held in Museum Collections around the world.