Devon / by Robert Darch

I spend a lot of time exploring Devon, mainly by car, but also walking and cycling as well. Each mode of transport has their benefits but all allow me the time to think and look. 

Devon is a sizeable county and although I have lived here for 9 years now I am still discovering villages, hamlets and corners that provide fresh inspiration. Durlescombe, the series I am currently working on is heavily layered and so often the photographic decisions I make are led by instinct rather than considered thought. The time for consideration is when the work is being edited, it’s at this point that the selection of images is integral in creating the desired narrative and atmosphere I want for Durlescombe. With this series I realise that there is a fine line between stereotyping a place, or wallowing too much in nostalgia. What defines Devon? This a complicated question, as it would be to try and define any region, place, city or country. I am not trying to determine the definitive Devon, in fact the Devon that is portrayed in Durlescombe is just as much a figment of my imagination and a response to childhood memories than a statement of fact or a definition of any real place. However, there are certain constants within the landscape that I believe help define Devon, and when I stumbled across this landscape last weekend it managed to illustrate those elements perfectly. The hills, valley, farmhouse, thatched roof, fields, livestock, river, woods, and the country lane are all aspects that signify Devon for me and to be able to contain them all within a singular frame felt special.