Orrin Whitehead-St Pierre

Orrin Whitehead-St Pierre - BA (Hons) Photography

In Presence of Still Water

The canals of England exist both as an intersection between nature and the man-made, cutting their ways through cities and the countryside. ‘In Presence of Still Water’ is an exploration of the eclectic mix of people that choose to make the waterways their home.

It’s a way of life that on one hand can be so constrained yet freeing, and draws on our longing to escape the complexities of society and return closer to nature. It forms mismatched communities of people from different walks of life, who’re often willing to help one another due to their shared way of living. Among them are artists, accountants, beauticians, teachers, plumbers, harpists, and professional divers.

It’s a physically demanding lifestyle that draws people for many reasons. Some stumble upon it by chance and some see it as a way to get closer to nature, while others find that with rising living costs, a boat is the only way they could own their own home. For some, it represents one of the last remaining nomadic lifestyles, seeking a sense of freedom in transient spaces.