Day Thirty Seven: Friday 8th July 2005
After the events of yesterday, everything seems subdued and you can’t help feeling that this is what it must be like all over the country. Martin and I gather in the studio to begin the process of breaking everything down to get ready for the trip down to Henley on Monday. It is an arduous job. During the afternoon, I take a break and go for a drive around Rhyl, my hometown. Today everything seems different. It’s on a day like this, in the aftermath of the bombings, that you really appreciate where you come from and the people you live with. I’ve lived in this area all my life but it’s in these moments that you notice the relentless change that is taking place all the time. It’s at times like this that you see the things that you most value and adhere to. It’s now that you see the things that you want to hold onto, the things you don’t want to let go of. I don’t know why, but I found myself looking at some flags in a shop window on the seafront. I had an idea. I stopped the car and I bought some of them. A Union Jack, a Ddraig Goch and a Stars and Stripes. This is how I see these flags not as symbols of a country but as symbols of a people, symbols of a way of life, symbols of the friendships that exist between people from other countries, the bonds that are forged between towns and cities. After yesterday, it seems to me that it’s not just this country or it’s leadership / government that is being attacked, but it’s people and it’s way of life too and that is what makes today so particularly painful. I know that we have done wrong and made mistakes but we have also done right and created brilliant things too. Only last weekend we were talking about ourselves as the generation that could possibly / hopefully ‘Make Poverty History’. Today we are talking about terrorism on our city streets and seeing people terrified and frightened for their lives. I get back to the studio and the papers are full of the headlines of the day. We are under attack. I have a vague idea to photograph the flags and lay them out against a white back drop and photograph them as they lay. I decided to set fire to them and took some more photographs. I think I have an album sleeve and a way of articulating what I feel. Under Attack.