Settlements is an ongoing photographic record of a small number of communities and individuals, based in Britain, who are building and exploring alternative land-based, low impact ways of living. They aim to be ecologically sustainable and for their dwellings, economy and way of life to have a minimal environmental impact. Renewable energy sources are used as are locally sourced natural and recycled building materials.
Taken from 2004 onwards, the photographs chart their evolution and growth seen through homes, communal spaces, infrastructure, food growing areas and periodic community portraits.
They centre on four settlements: Steward Community Woodland, Tir Ysbrydol and The Roundhouse at Brithdir Mawr, Tinkers Bubble and Landmatters. These are followed, for reasons of privacy, by a section titled ‘Locations Undisclosed’, and then by a smaller number of images from two more recent settlements, Fivepenny Farm and Lammas, which evolved out of the preceding settlements and were set up more as communities of smallholders.
The photographs document and reveal a more sustainable way of life and a closer, more balanced and symbiotic relationship with the natural environment. Together they provide a record of communities and individuals whose way of life challenges the mainstream, and in the process expand debates on growth, land use, environment and notions of development and progress.