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It's Just a Matter of Time

Lookup NU author(s): Toby Blackman



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an online publication published in its final definitive form in 2022. For re-use rights please refer to the publishers terms and conditions.


This work acts upon Lauren Fournier’s ‘autotheoretical impulse,’ writing the autobiographical site of memory and loss through explicitly subjective autobiography, description, and discourse on the image. The site written is formed in the space and time produced outwards from two photographs taken on the Hunter’s Path in Dartmoor, Exeter. Set in immaculate formal gardens and overlooking the Teign Gorge, Castle Drogo was designed by Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe and built between 1911 and 1930. I visited Castle Drogo for the first time on 14 September 2019. I was on my way to visit my mum on the weekend of her seventy-first birthday. She had suffered a massive stroke earlier in the year and remained hospitalised in Truro, Cornwall. I took a break from the long, hot drive from Nottingham and walked on to the Teign Gorge ‘classic circuit,’ a circular path which joins a singletrack trail, the Hunter’s Path, and descends to the floor of the Gorge. I carried my medium format film camera around my neck and stopped to take two shots on a bend on the Hunter’s Path, simply – it would seem – to be present and active in a place. It was the last weekend I would see my mum. The history, events, patterns, and condition of the physical body – mother, and son – form situated knowledges after Donna Haraway, at an intersection in the literature of Roland Barthes, Peggy Phelan and Brian Dillon, with John Berger, Susan Sontag, Iain Borden and Victor Burgin. Gaps are formed between photographic discourse, the body and the page, creating the ‘inner space of language’ between the signifier and the signified observed by Gérard Genette. This work writes site in these gaps as mnemonic spaces embodied over time to offer an autotheory of and for photography.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blackman T

Series Editor(s): Rendell, J

Publication type: Online Publication

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Site-Reading Writing Quarterly

Year: 2022

Acceptance date: 14/06/2022


ePrints DOI: 10.57711/xjcg-5337