Tanya Houghton (b.1985) is a British social documentary photographer and interdisciplinary practitioner based in London. Having studied at both the University of the Arts London and Goldsmiths University of London, she comes from a background of sociology and conceptual photography and works on a variety of projects. Exploring themes centred around food, memory and the landscape, she mixes conceptual still life with landscape and portrait to explore her narrative.
London’s Marshland; an expanse of over 10,000 acres that stretch from the east end up to the north east of the city. An intricate network of waterways and protected marshland, they are home to many of London’s boating community, dog walkers, urban ramblers. Once combined these users create an intricate web of unseen paths with hints that they were once there scattered across the landscape.
This area of the city creates a tension where the urban meets the rural. Pockets of protected marshland, wasteland, and forgotten industry nestle up against residential zones, creating an interesting juxtaposition of the man made and the natural.
The resulting body of work is an exploration of these urban-rural spaces. Created through a series of walks, Houghton follows trodden desire paths and wanders through hidden pockets of the Marshland. Photographing the landscape as she moves through it, she collects man made items and local flora to be reworked into sculptural still lives in the studio. Painterly landscapes and delicate still lives act as testimony to the human interaction with these green spaces. The images allude to the traces left on the landscape and hint at the signs that we were once there.