As a social documentary photographer, a great amount of time is spent working alone, often in unfamiliar places. The serendipitous nature of roaming in a foreign place with a medium-format camera is an act of ‘hiding in plain sight’. Josh intends to establish a relationship with strangers, even if only for the briefest of moments. Thinking of the words of John Berger: “a presence has to be given, not bought” (Berger, 2003), an ideology which underpins his photographic practice. He not only strives to give something back to the people who kindly given their time to create a portrait photograph, he suggests the symbiotic relationship of photography acts as a vehicle for social commentary.
Through the act of making environmental portraiture, Josh seeks to unearth and represent the human qualities of places which are often misrepresented or not fully understood. His most recent ongoing project, 99 Peace Walls aims to document the people and places of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although not inherently about the turbulent political and religious landscape, both historical and current, these factors have resonated with the photographer throughout his project.
He is interested in the people of Northern Ireland, and therefore seeks to humanise the problems which they have faced and continue to deal with. There is a certain potency which surrounds Belfast, and although historical, political and religious factors are important to consider, the photographer truly hope people can identify with the human side of the work.
Josh is currently making work abroad in Muscat, the capital of Oman and will be exhibiting this work at the Clay exhibition.