When thinking about what to do for the human presence task I thought of Anthony Hernandez. In the series, “Landscapes for the Homeless” which begun in 1988 and finished in 1991, Anthony Hernandez documented the out of the way places the homeless retreated to. In the series he closes in on minute details such as the homeless’ possessions, revealing a persons presence through photographing the landscape. Whilst photographing these areas Hernandez made sure that no one was around, so as not to disrupt the life of its inhabitants. Viewed at a distance, the images appear to be photographs of the natural landscape. Upon close examination the details of habitation reveal themselves. This made me realise how important and what great impact the little things can do in an image. I believe these photographs to be great examples of landscape photography and capture a human’s presence powerfully. The photos offer deep and meaningful documentation, revealing the homeless’ terrible living conditions, their presence in the landscape and their possessions.
This made me think of the homeless people in Coventry. I used to walk through the underpass by Coventry Train Station nearly everyday and spoke to one of the guys who stayed under their quite frequently. I also used him as a subject for one of my past, private projects, exploring homeless people in Coventry. Whilst I photographed him, I now think my images would have been far more profound if I had photographed the effects of their presence on the Coventry landscape. There have been many times, where I have walked past where he normally sleeps and only his possessions and sleeping bag remain. Yet I’ve never photographed it. Therefore, I plan to do so as a part of this task.
These are some of the photographs I had taken for a past project of homeless people and beggars in Coventry.