LAURA PANNACK, SHORTLISTED 3RD BIENNIAL’S GRANT

The Cracker

A vast wasteland stands between the two estates. ‘Tibby’ ; it’s cul de sac of residential

houses that curls around a small playground. Kids push prams with their hands above their

heads or zip past on bikes.

Through a narrow alleyway you enter the Cracker ;rolling grass lined with blackberries and

stinging nettles. Motorbikes, peds and quads bark loudly everyday and at all times. The boys

race them until they burn out, perfecting the art of the wheelie. Horses are usually kept

in the back gardens or local stables and are just as popular.

The girls nestle around small fires despite the baking summer sun. On my second trip I

discovered an entirely black Cracker, sporting the occasional patch of grass that had escaped

a burning.

On the adjacent side lies ‘The Lost City Estate’. Most of the boys meet at Jack Barrett’s bars

(a metal fence that lies to the opening of the field). They perch and exchange stories,

cigarettes and zoots alight referring to each other affectionately as ‘Mush’

I ‘m drawn to this area for it’s tight knit community ; everyone knows each other. The name

‘The Lost City’ derives from an obvious observation. With no entertainment and a lack of role

models these young people do feel lost. The police battle against them. I want to

explore the friendships, the unique language and tradition of the area and the characters that

for me; should not be lost or ignored. "

Youth Without Age and Life Without Death

“Youth Without Age and Life Without Death” was written by Petre

Ispirescu. The overarching argument is a common but affirming one: life

outside of linear time, and thus agelessness, is impossible. And if there is to

be any remote possibility, it is only a form of momentary independence that

is offered before the inevitable occurs – meeting one’s death like any

mortal.

This project is a response to my need to escape, adventure and roam in

reaction to internal pressure I feel that time is moving too fast. It seems like

a shared experience that hours, days and weeks pass and we can’t recall

them, life continues and time slips away.

My adventure began in Romania. The strong sense of timelessness, tradition

and untouched scenery mirrored my desire to stop time.

I soon stumbled across this folktale which perfectly echoes the many

questions that I have.

This is a photographic exploration of the people, places and landscapes I

encountered in Romania, drawing directly on this famous mythology and a

sense of a temporal placeto offer a view on the fragility of life.

Alternating between reality and fantasy, the photographs respond to a

feeling of separation from the modern world. I have intentionally played

with the notion of fiction and the present moment.

Like a web of nostalgia and resistance, all the signs of temporality come to

bear in objects that are charged with tensions of permanence and

impermanence. Time elsewhere is relentless but here something of it is left

behind.