Acceptable Alterations to the Landscape
Acceptable Alterations to the Landscape (AAL) is a photographic survey which pre-empts significant change within the captured areas.
Through the use of governmental produced literature reporting on the environmental implications of Hydraulic Fracturing in the U.K., AAL’s images are sited within designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parkland where licensing rights for the exploration of unconventional oil or gas have been granted.
‘Acceptable Alterations’ specifically focused on the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) ‘ Strategic Environmental Assessment for Further Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing’ (SEA), produced December 2013, and it’s predecessor initiated in 2005. The SEA document is designed as a guide to issues arising from a 14th round of onshore licensing to take place in the near future, it’s often vague, uncertain and unsettling language provides a contextual rhetoric within which to consider the images.
DECC’s ‘SEA’ divides the United Kingdom up into five geographic areas each of which are given an in-depth assessment. At this initial stage, AAL has narrowed it’s gaze to SEA Area 3, East Midlands and Eastern England, specifically the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and The Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These areas also border the North Riding Forest Park, North Yorkshire & Cleveland Heritage Coast, the National Nature Reserves of Skipwith Common and Strensall Common. Encapsulated within this vast area are numerous Sites of Specific Scientific Interest, both Geological and Biological, which have been deemed to have features that merit protection or preservation.
Acceptable Alterations’ uses a rigid, uniform photographic style (a process designed to mirror the analysis and classification carried out by the SEA), to record the chosen landscape as it is now, exploring its current uses and aesthetic components, and through the use of juxtaposed DECC text and imagery; provoke thought, discussion and awareness of the implications of fracking in proximity to the country’s natural and historical heritage. This is an ongoing body of work which will expand into the remaining SEA Areas, each culminating in a small run newsprint edition.