Michael Jackson (1966, UK) has been going to the same beach in West Wales for the past five years, studying every detail of the beach. Aside from the name of this series, Poppit Sands, it’s not necessarily obvious that these are photographs of sand. Jackson captures the details and motion of a moment, made vulnerable by the constant change of tides. These organic formations, when framed and photographed by Jackson, become something else entirely: symbols, Rorschach tests, landscapes from outer space, mimicry of faces and known objects. Jackson says that the work is not intended to have a meaning as such, though perhaps that creates the most beautiful aspect of the project: that you can let your imagination run freely, and project your wishes onto the sand.
Jackson continues to shoot at Poppit Sands, now for the sixth year running. He says, “Through photographing a single location over a long period of time I find that I can study certain aspects of the three elements available to me - sand, water and sky - and try to focus in on the relationships that they have with each other and how these specifics can blend to create an image of strength and excitement.”
Michael Jackson was a finalist in the Hasselblad Masters Award over three consecutive years (2008, 2009 and 2010) for his work on Poppit Sands.