I’ve just come back from a very special couple of weeks in El Salvador, which gave me the perfect reprieve from London chaos and an excuse to completely switch off to technology and media. I need to readdress the energy balance more than ever when I’m in London - perhaps it’s an introvert thing, perhaps it’s just necessity when you’re running at the pace London demands.
I went away on my own, so it was easy to feel the pull of my phone, of connection to home comforts, friends and family, but somehow I managed to resist most of the urges (helped by minimal internet) and embrace my new unknown world and pace of life.
This meant letting go of my camera too.
But it wasn’t about disconnecting with photography. In the same way as stepping back from a difficult conversation gives fresh perspective, I find by stepping away and no longer searching for photographs, the images start coming to me, in new ways. I start zoning in on colours and shapes and seeing in 3x4 frames. Then when I do pick up a camera my photography takes on a new form. Instead of separating me from my reality, it draws me into the moment even more and helps me to experience it in a more intimate way.
The images here came to me on an evening wandering around the magical town of Ataco in El Salvador. It’s a little cobbled town nestled in the mountains, surrounded by coffee trees and natural habitat for as far as the eye can see. It’s become a community of creatives, who have painted the crumbling walls with bright murals and sell their artisan wares on every corner. My time there will sit with me for a long time. And I’m sure that’s in no small part to the intimacy of experience that comes with slowing down and allowing time to take it’s own pace.