In the spring and early summer of 2016 the news was dominated by chatter and debate about the UK’s EU referendum and then more latterly the unexpected result.
During this period my attention was drawn to the fact that there were twenty-eight countries making up the EU. Twenty-eight disparate countries stretching from Finland in the North to the island of Malta in the South, from Ireland and Portugal on the Atlantic ocean to Bulgaria on the Black Sea and a myriad of diverse countries and cultures in between.
I wondered has anyone actually visited all 28 countries? Very few I imagine. I decided to visit and photograph a town in each of the EU member states.
“Project 28” was born.
I set myself a target of photographing all twenty-eight towns before the UK left the EU. This project is not about Brexit despite the noise around the referendum sowing the seeds for my. It is the EU seen through my lens. Images reflecting my experience of the EU in 2016/7.
On 10th August 2016 I made the first of the eleven journeys that would be required to travel to all twenty-eight states.
A year later I had completed the journeys. From the outset it was my intention that my first output from Project 28 was to be a photobook. Converting that intention into reality is actually far more difficult and taking a lot longer than I envisaged. The book '28' will be self published in mid July 2018. The book will not be the conclusion of the project but just the first output.
The handmade photo book is just the beginning. Along the way I have repeatedly been encouraged to document the experiences I had travelling to the twenty eight towns. An exhibition was planned to coincide with the UK’s exit from the EU in March 2019.
Well as we now know we never exited on the planned date so the 28 remained 28. As March 2019 was to be a non event the planned exhibition was shelved. The book was published but the expected big launch in March of course did not materialise and so Project 28 stalled somewhat. Now in late December 2019 the date is set for the 28 to become 27 on 31st January 2020. I am abroad for six weeks in the New Year so an event around that date is a non starter. Project 28 will ramp up again in 2020 and celebrate my view of the 28 states of the EU as seen during 2017.