Large and medium format black and white photographs.
For twelve years I have been returning annually to ‘Makasutu’, an area of sacred forest in the West African republic of The Gambia, to make portraits of the people who live and work there. ‘Makasutu’ received it’s name when the Islamic wave swept though the Sahara in the 12th Century, and Gambian converts used the land as a prayer ground before mosques were erected - hence the name, translated from the local Mandinka language ‘Maka’ – mecca and ‘sutu’ – in the forest. Since then it has always been deemed a hallowed land.
The portraits are a preservation of the diminishing pastoral and village life in The Gambia and an echo of our own past: that of a simpler, more community driven, family-orientated and less mechanized existence