on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Darent Flows

Paul Burgess

Paul Burgess

A Kent based photographer, I have been exploring the landscape for many years, initially using film, but now I work is largely digital, although I revert to the view camera when time allows. Currently completing a photography degree course as a very mature student, which is forcing me to examine why I make photographs and the meaning in my work.


These images represent an ongoing project exploring the River Darent in Kent. The Darent is an ancient chalk stream that emerges at Greensand Ridge in Westerham. After passing through the Darent Valley, it eventually joins the Thames at Dartford. Whilst over the centuries, there has been a human imperative to interfere with the flow (through building bridges and watermills, etc.), only limited control over its power is ever achieved. In contrast with these infrastructural efforts, the flow of the river remains awesome and at times terrifying.

I have excluded any reference to context or scale within these images to make them generically representative of the flows that have supported life on earth since the beginning of time. Although the project is focused on a particular geographical location, I hope that the images of the river’s natural force take on a more metaphorical meaning, reminding us of our individual and collective journeys.

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