Screen shots from Seamus Murphy's The Last Living Rose, a series of 12 short films he directed to accompany PJ Harvey's songs on her new album, Let England Shake
PJ Harvey, photographed by Seamus Murphy
"England has a complicated relationship with the past, its island status, its relationship to the land, geography and tradition. Contemporary England springs from a history of colonial adventures, military ambitions and industrial prowess. It is also defined by its waning power and military role in modern politics. At times, it can be a very odd place.
To open myself up to a country I live in but rarely get to shoot, I went on a road journey during one of the worst winters in living memory. I approached England as I would a foreign country, travelling alone with little equipment. I documented my experience in reportage style, using available light and real-life situations – this time with sound and pictures. I normally have the still and silent image as my universe."
I have always appreciated people's connection to the land in which they live. This connection has nothing to do with patriotism, but a profound and real understanding of the conditions that make up the land.