William’s land-based practice subverts traditional notions of photographic documentary to create more emotive methods of documentation. Environmental consciousness is threaded throughout his practice and is especially prevalent in his ecological projects.
Phase One – A Silence of Broken Wings (Woodland Images)
According to the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), it is illegal to fell any tree containing nesting birds. This wanton act of destruction is being carried out on an unimaginable scale through the actions of HS2 Limited. A Silence of Broken Wings interrogates the ethics behind this development project and offers a conceptual foreshadowing of its aftermath.
Phase One – Endymion’s Lament (Bluebells) *
Thirty-four ancient woodlands stand directly along HS2’s route between London and Birmingham, Phase One of its construction. All are scheduled for partial or complete destruction.
Endymion Non-Scriptus, an antiquated title for the British bluebell, takes its name from the Greek myth of Endymion. The tale tells of a nature-loving shepherd who was put into an eternal sleep by Zeus to preserve his youth and beauty forever. Through an imagining of Endymion’s rude awakening and mankind’s increasing disconnection from nature, this artwork questions the true cost of this £106bn project.
*Please note: This online exhibition features a shortened version of the project. The full installation of this work features all 34 bluebells representing all of the Phase One woodlands and their Ordnance Survey grid references.