The Home Front (SIGNED) By Melanie Friend

Air shows are a fun day out for the family. On the ground, tank rides are on offer and armed forces’ recruitment drives afford children an opportunity to indulge in their fascination with guns. There are elements of fantasy and the carnivalesque here and a clear disconnect between this ‘play’ and the actual effect of weapons. In Friend’s photographs the beach and the landscape become uneasy, surreal spaces, temporarily militarized by the fleeting presence and roar of fighter jets. Civilian aircraft displays are interwoven with military ones, whilst nostalgia for World War II is evoked by the presence of ‘war birds’ such as the Lancaster bomber, only to be followed by the ‘shock and awe’ displays of contemporary fighter jets such as the Tornado, recently deployed in Libya and Afghanistan. By contrast, the trade days of the larger air shows such as Farnborough promote military hardware in a more direct way, while deals are negotiated behind the closed doors of the hospitality chalets.

In her early career Melanie Friend worked as a photojournalist, and radio reporter. From the mid 1990s she shifted her focus to longer-term photographic projects, producing work for exhibition as well as for her books which include Homes and Gardens: Documenting the Invisible (1996), No Place Like Home: Echoes from Kosovo (2001) and Border Country (2007). Friend is currently a part-time Senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex.

Dewi Lewis, 2013
h295 x w245 mm
96 pages
40 colour plates
Introduced by Hilary Roberts
Essay By Pippa Oldfield


Melanie Friend Dewi Lewis Publishing 2013

2 in stock

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