This image is from my ongoing narrative project titled Quinn, the story of a young man’s journey on foot from the south-west of England to the north of Scotland in 1946-47. Quinn is something of an isolated character, and I often portray him alone in large landscapes as he makes his way north.
This particular image was one of those photographer’s gifts which sometimes happen – you find something perfect and unexpected while you were looking for something else entirely. We were shooting in the Yorkshire Dales, on a limestone pavement above Malham in mid-summer. I had spent the previous day recce-ing in blazing sunshine, walking a number of footpaths and planning shots, but of course on the shoot day the weather came in wet and dark and made all my planning redundant. But, Sam (who plays Quinn) and I are used to dragging ourselves and my 5″x4″ kit up mountains in all weathers, so we went to the location I had in mind and got a shot which I was reasonably pleased with, despite the fact that the huge escarpment in the background was entirely obscured by rain… We were pretty damp, Sam’s feet were soaked and I had foolishly not taken sufficient layers, so we were quite pleased to be heading back down – Sam walked on ahead, and as he generally walks in costume and carries the suitcase to location, this shot just appeared in front of me. Given the nature of large format I had to call to him to stop so we could recreate it with the camera up, but it was a total gift, and my favourite shot of the trip.
Quinn is planned for completion and exhibition in 2017.
Lottie Davies is an artist and photographer based in London and the south-east. Her work is concerned with stories and personal histories, the tales and myths we use to structure our lives: memories, life-stories, beliefs. She takes inspiration from classical and modern painting, cinema and theatre as well as the imaginary worlds of literature. Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery in London, has described Davies’ work as “brilliantly imaginative”.