Fractured Stories

I just had to enter this competition.

Run by the BJP and Ecotricity,  Fractured Stories is an open call for photographers to respond to the issue of fracking.

If you are not sure what fracking is, click this link:

The competition offers a £5,000 grant, travel and accommodation support along with coverage in the BJP website and via three features. The project runs for six-weeks from mid-August to end of September.

They are looking for someone who can offer a creative approach to documenting fracking that has a new perspective, one beyond the headlines.

The BJP released a new article about the competition on July 6. It highlighted some of the “best” entries so far.

In the images shared was work by Sophie Gerrard. She has won the Jerwood Photography Award, a Fuji Bursary and a Magenta Fast Forward Award for her series E-Wasteland, is a university lecturer, has been published in prominent media publications and co-founded Document Scotland to name a few photographic attributes.

Fig. 1: Gerrard 2013. Drawn To The Land

These are high accolades to try and compete against.

But what I noticed most about all of the entries highlighted is the fact that they are all documentary in style.

I’m hoping my proposal to take a very different approach will attract attention.

I entered 10 Harena Now camera-less images, including the one shown below (Fig. 2):

Fig. 2: Purcell 2017. Harena Now. 

This would be such a fantastic opportunity to expand the direction of Harena Now.

Oddly enough, with Cornwall’s mining history, there are no plans to frack in the county. The nearest sites being Somerset, Devon and Dorset.

In 2013 a Falmouth Packet newspaper story stated that the reason Cornwall was unlikely to be chosen as our underlying rock is mostly granite. Not the right type of rock for fracking.

That contradicts the sand mining issue, where only the right type of sand can be used, which means at the rate we are mining it, it could run out. But Cornwall seems safe for now.

If I am chosen for this (a big if), then I would be looking to create camera-less work using high-powered jet ‘guns’, possibly with cyanotype solution and/or with water and sand and possibly some of the proposed chemicals used in the fracking liquid. These may then stand alone as artworks or I may incorporate images of the people for and against this issue within the pictures.

I may just do this anyway as it seems such a natural step in Harena Now as fracking is another reason why we are using too much sand.


Figure 1: GERRARD, Sophie. 2013. Drawn from the Land. Available at: [accessed July 7, 2018].

Figure 2: PURCELL, Josie. 2017. Harena Now.


Falmouth Packet. Available at: [accessed July 7, 2018].

Fractured Stories. Available at: [accessed July 7, 2018].

Friends of the Earth. Available at: [accessed July 7, 2018].