In Spring, They Cut That Magnolia Tree Down

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In Spring, They Cut That Magnolia Tree Down
by Matthew Broadhead

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150 x 200mm, 100 pages
First edition of 100
Produced in the United Kingdom
Screenprinted cover
Risograph inner contents

In Spring, They Cut That Magnolia Tree Down is a body of work consisting of photographs captured on black and white film, in and around the author's home in North West Bristol.

This is an exploration of human intervention in urban and industrial areas within walking distance of my doorstep. Shortly after a local nursery permanently ceased operations next to Woodwell Road in Shirehampton village, a beautiful magnolia tree in full bloom was cut down. I still feel that this was deeply unnecessary, and the developers then neglected the site to the point where it became derelict.

From the edifices and repetitive patterns of industry through to the fly-tipping and vandalism of urban sprawl, this series of observations are visual depictions of nature’s fraught existence, in the milieu of a built-up environment.

Magnolia is an ancient symbol of springtime that recurs cyclically. This representation of natural growth, renewal and resilience is scattered throughout public spaces and enclosures surrounded by hostile barriers. A burnt-out mattress, spilt baby milk, bailiff’s notice and general pollution serve as potent visual symbols for an area whose identity is varied and ever-shifting.

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