‘Common Treasures’ is a photographic exploration of personal and physical connection to a landscape. Finding comfort, solace and peace in a familiar natural place, Megan West based this project at Iping Common nature reserve, a place filled with childhood memory, diverse scenery and ancient history. The project focuses on the human need to physically connect with natural spaces, paying particular attention to the gesture of touch and exploring the fantasy of harmony with the landscape that touch and physical presence provides.
West’s work challenges the traditional expectations of landscape photography, and uses the studio to isolate the subject matter and enhance the meaning of the work. In her wider research, West has explored the role of gender in relationship to landscape, and has performed in Iping Common, using the landscape as an active participant in the work, rather than following the traditional trope of portraying the land with objectivity. The work is shot on film and exhibited images are handprinted c-types.