The UK has always been a misleading & slightly unconvincing brand-name; our 'kingdoms' (sic) are only ever united in the shadow of an imposed regal flag & in the minds of marketing teams or politicos. Despite this there is still something, something intangible, be it the pages of history, the communion of our languages or the tangled mess of memes & genes in which we exist as a clutch of nations.
Focus returning to the fringes & margins of this england; the rural & post-industrial margins, our worlds of work & play. It is at once oblique & sensitively observed, it brings together the familiar & the abstracted & somewhere between them, there is evidence of a tenuous union.
Vampire provides us with a powerful but understated pictorial narrative for a defining moment in Romania's transformation from despotism to nascent democracy, a time of hope and despair. In Cernavodă, Ceausescu's ghost still stalks the fringes of town. The streets and alleys are dark and lifeless, the dracul could easily inhabit these shadowy recesses.
Surge captures the essence of 21st Century urban China; a chaotic flux of communism and capital, people and commodity, belonging and alienation. At the height of its regeneration and reinvention over 10 million migrant workers poured into Shanghai from the impoverished rural provinces; to them, the city is both sacrifice and salvation, gulag and home.
Thunderbolts Way is both real and imagined. It straddles the last few kilometres of the habitable interior of New South Wales, a place where soft tarmac dives for cover under the hot tundra of red dust and parched grass. Where global capital meets the Kelly gang legend, where Melbourne Cup winners are bred and a gambler's dreams begin.
Drift is a rootless wanderer in search of purpose, a change in fortunes, cursed with the the unquenchable hope of a big win. From San Francisco and the coast roads to LA and on via the car park of the Bellagio casino, through death valley and onto to the salt flats of mono lake, there are glimpsed fragments of the human condition strewn by the highways.
Lesley talks us through why the Bowmont and this project are so special, the importance of fibre quality and the beauty of a fully traceable 100% UK supply chain.
Knowledge, expertise and the passion to put in a bit of research and delvelopment to get a fledgling flock from fleece to yarn - we spent time in the UK heartland of wool production, with the best in the game.
Too excited to wait for their delivery, we travelled up to see our new striped Last-Long sock come off the production line. Bamkins recently celebrated their 125th year in business, here's to stuff that lasts a long time.
The Bowmont's debut at the Devon County Show marks a significant moment in the quest to re-establish Bowmont sheep, and in doing so re-inventing the British fine fibre market.
A day with Mr Bowthorpe as he works with wood, talks to representatives in Tokyo, picks up his bike in a box from Qoroz and meets with custom cycle jersey makers Milltag.
A trip the borders - the home of knitting - in search of heritage, expertise and tradition, in order to secure another aspect of our UK supply chain for the Bowmont project.
2011's Cold Water Championships. One width, close to freezing water and the founder of a cold water surf brand.
Manchester in the area, a look into product in the making in the northern town that made its name on textile production.
Mr James Bowthorpe arrives home after his record breaking 18,000 mile around the world cycle ride.
Making paper movies since 2003
Photography © David A Gray
Text © Paul Summers