Wandering to the next page


80 x 111 cm
Pen and ink on cotton board
The first-ever work completed within the Purposeful Wandering series, Purbeck was drawn over a nine-month period in the midst of living and exploring the region – specifically, the Isle of Purbeck and surrounding towns, Poole and Bournemouth. The work examined the layered juxtaposition of a thriving Victorian resort town, alongside Jurassic remains, wrapped within a UNESCO world heritage site. Its content was drawn from direct exploration, and through local knowledge and research conducted as part of a stint as a tour guide – including a local street knowledge exam that would secure a taxi licence as one facet of this temporary vocation.

Fortuitous serendipity

Discovering the Isle of Purbeck was the result of an arbitrary and positive encounter. To that end, this enchanting region, nestled away on the south England coast, became a temporary home. It conjured up romantic notions of place and triggered a fascination with the quintessential English countryside, retracing the rituals of long summer adventures from childhood.
The South West Coast Path, indicated here through the emblem of a traditional wooden style signpost, was founded for the coastguard to spot and capture smugglers. The path stretches 630 miles (1,014km) from Poole Harbour, besides Purbeck, following the coast line east all the way to Minehead in Somerset.
There are many legends surrounding the village of Harman’s Cross and its name. One tells of a man named Harman – a murderer hung at the crossroads. Why a village would be named after a murderer’s execution remains a mystery.

Guided immersion

Purbeck became the visual evidence of a period of time spent working as a tour guide. Weeks were spent on the peninsula, sharing stories and then drawing into the night. While Purbeck is not an Island, its marshy borders sing with the similar allure of disconnection from the mainland – both physically and mindfully.
Adjacent to Purbeck’s many nature reserves on the south shore of Poole Harbour is Wytch Farm, shown here with a witch’s hat atop a building. Surprisingly, this site is the largest onshore oil field in western Europe.
The Arne Nature Reserve spans a small peninsula, and the region’s micro-climate creates an environment that is home to reptiles, sika deer, and many species of birds. The latter includes the rare Spoonbill – a bird that feasts on the mudflats.

Beauty through time

Purbeck’s cornucopia of curiosities coat its landscape – rural stretches whose contents vary from Jurassic remains to modern military might. The Purbeck hills traverse east to west, rolling into nature reserves and a lagoon-like harbour which becomes the backdrop to luxury living at Sandbanks. Bournemouth, a bustling resort town, is juxtaposed with the Purbeck's outstanding natural beauty, once home to smugglers and kings, now a living crypt of stories – a neolithic, folkloric talisman of tales.
Old Harry Rocks sit by the cliffs at Handfast Point. The legend goes that either the devil slept upon them, or that they were named after a local pirate Harry Paye, who hid his boat behind the formations to catch his victims off guard.
Surrounded by Bronze Age burial sites and perched on high ground, the romantic Corfe Castle stands on high as one of the first stone built castles in the United Kingdom. It is drawn here in its original splendour, depicting its true stature ahead of its demise after the English civil war. Its ruins continue to mesmerise all those that walk through its grounds.
Unlike Boris Johnson, whose fate was to throw himself and the UK off a cliff, his hero Winston Churchill fell from a rickety bridge that crossed a steep ravine in Bournemouth as a child. The event is commemorated here by the symbol of his iconic Homburg style hat.
Iron London bollards can be found cast unexpectedly inside Durlston Parklands. This iconic street furniture was used as ballast for returning boats that delivered locally sourced Purbeck Stone to construction sites across London.