Rory Buckland


Welcome to my photography work. Showing a selection of work from the last 9 years.

Photography; Textual Interventions – Photo Text


Symbols of Economic and Ideological Prerogative

Landscapes of the Mind

Alternative Existence

Closed Space

In this series of work I use photography and text to present metaphor or symbolism.  I have called this approach ‘Textual Intervention’. Whereby I incorporate text as a way of short circuiting the photographs multiplicity of interpretation; this is carried with the image regardless of situation and produces resonant anchored meaning.

The parts must be understood to fully grasp their relevance as a whole, making them like a jigsaw mystery. It is my intention that they become richer; ‘The whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts.’

This image and text is a physical intervention with the surface of the photograph. I cut by hand, the text into or paste it onto the final printed image. When I paste it on; this is achieved by cutting the text from another version of the print; typically one that is lighter or darker in tone. This process denies the viewer unfettered access to the image and intervenes in the photographs illusory depth. In part by making the substrate or carrier become an object in its own right. I think this is prompted at least in part by my history of mixed media object making which brings me back to a desire for the object to move beyond a flat surface.

This work also questions the sometimes fetishised technical and aesthetic qualities of print production. By showing my – the creators hand in the cuts, the process refers to authorship the photographs democratised position in image making and questions ideas of work activity.

Documentary Photography Projects

‘This is Culture’

2016 diptych

This photography project was done as part of a residency at Southampton Solent University I spent time photographing Southampton’s new Cultural Quarter which is a designated area for the promotion of cultural activity within the city’s centre. Southampton City Council in partnership with Southampton Cultural Quarter Development Trust have identified 13 sites spread across an area from East Park Terrace, including East Park, Above Bar and Guildhall Square; stopping at Havelock Road and continuing down Commercial Road. These venues include art galleries, a park, library, theatre, a concert venue, a bar, open space, a university building and a council office building.

Cultural quarter initiatives have been adopted in many countries to encourage urban social and economic regeneration. The rationale is that ‘consuming’ culture encourages social cohesion and thus strengthens local communities. Areas with ‘culture’ also become attractive places to live, work and visit. Even so, some members of society remain excluded from participation.

Exploring the area, there are approximately 41 sites of many different types, including the 13 identified by the Trust that can reasonably be said to demonstrate culture. This photographic documentation of the Cultural Quarter shows them all and resolves the 41 venues into 13 locales.

Photography; Exercise Conditions


This documentary photography project about the Fire and Rescue Service. Did you know many fire and rescue operatives are ex-armed forces? Because they appreciate the camaraderie, and joined to make a difference in their community.

The service has experienced funding cuts of 30% during the course of the last parliament (2011-2015), which equates to one in eight fire-fighter jobs gone as well as stations, appliances and equipment. Another 40% are being planned. Because of its rural location, the village in which I live sometimes cannot send out its appliance as there are not enough personnel to man it. So teams from the next nearest town will respond. The fire service costs each of us £50 per year.

Whilst the number of fires attended has gone down in recent years, they are increasingly being called to other types of incident. Such as floods and road traffic collisions.

Because the service is increasingly using ‘on call’ operatives that live and work within 5 minutes of their Fire & Rescue Station. So they can be on call for up to 100 hours a week. These on call fire & rescue personnel receive about £1.20 per hour for being on call.

They will be expected to work until they are 60 however a report recognises 66% will not meet the current fitness standard. As a result many may have to leave with a pension reduced by 20% or face dismissal.

Before starting work with the Fire & Rescue Service recruits undertake an intensive training programme. This is designed to equip them with the skills they need before attending incidents. This is a documentary photography insight into that journey.

Photography; Iron


This documentary photography gives an insight into the role of some of the people at Hargreaves iron foundry.

Iron is an element. To make castings with it, two additional compounds are required to aid the process; coke and limestone.

Hargreaves foundry has been making iron castings for over 130 years in Halifax, which was traditionally a tool making town. The process used now would still be recognisable to the Victorians.

“In the UK manufacturing was the most dominant industry in 1841 accounting for 36% of the workforce, followed closely by services at 33%. The expansion of services and decline in manufacturing meant that in 2011, 9% worked in manufacturing and 81% worked in services.” (Office for National Statistics)

They are what are known as a ‘jobbing foundry’ meaning they take on higher value large and small commissions of low volume or one off pieces. Because the job requires high levels of skill and there is a sense of pride in the castings they make. They work as a team, mindful of dangers to themselves and workmates, with the camaraderie extending beyond the ‘job’.

Despite previous downwards trend nationally – manufacturing is increasing, here and perhaps unsurprisingly, internationally. The sector is 10% of UK economy and contributes approximately £340 billion in sales.

Photography; Dying Days


In 2011 a planning permission was granted for demolition. But the Improvement Act of 1854 to 1871 commanded the holding of a livestock market within the boundaries of the town. So as a result in January 2012 the Welsh government repealed the act effective from March 2012.

This documentary photography project shows Monmouthshires Abergavenny livestock market in its town centre location. And this is where it has been since 1863 and subsequently became the last town centre livestock market in the country. The busiest day was Tuesdays, with additional sale days on Fridays. The market closed the site in December 2013.

Because of its proximity the town centre was thriving on market days, bringing trade to the other businesses in the town. One of the markets attendees aged 91, had visited weekly for 80 years. So, many people would like to have seen the site refurbished, rather than moved out of town to a new site at Bryngwyn.

So when I write this (March 2016) the area is still waiting for Morrisons to complete the purchase of the site for a new supermarket and library.

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