Big Stick is a portrait project of children posed with the sticks they invariably pick up the
moment they enter a wood. Is it something primeval and innate to humans – some deep
instinct overridden by the onset of adulthood? A reaction to other children having one? Or perhaps it’s simply fun to have a big stick?
Their behaviour may give us an insight into our prehistoric selves. For the large
majority of human existence, a hefty stick would have been vital to our day-to-day survival –
we are powerless without some form of tool. From defence to hunting; to clearing a path or
knocking down fruit, grabbing the nearest stick was rapidly ingrained into our ancestors’
The portraits are shot in pockets of woodland in and around Greater Manchester, an area
dramatically transformed through exponential urbanisation and major advances in technology over the last two centuries.
Staring at the viewer from remaining wild areas among the urban sprawl, the portraits question how far we have come from our primeval beginnings at this critical point we have reached with our natural environment.
Big Stick is an ongoing project by photographer Mark Hobbs. This exhibition includes some new portraits commissioned by Waterside Art Gallery shot in and around Trafford of local children.
Mon 17 May – Sat 31 Jul '21
Twitter @WatersideArts @CITrafford