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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

Work / Photography

Thomas Pratt photographs the effects of religion, natural disaster and globalisation on an island community

I think you need a relationship with what you’re shooting in order to get something honest,” begins photographer Thomas Pratt. “To seek out things of interest and beauty.” Travelling to Long Island in the Bahamas in 2011 for a fishing trip, this is exactly what the London-born and based photographer discovered. The humble beginnings of a project that would last eight years and is still ongoing, Thomas found himself in the midst of the small local community, but more specifically, the Fox family.

Titled Salt Pond, the series acts as an extensive documentation of island life. The characters, the wilderness, the azure blue ocean and, of course, the fishing. But it’s also an investigation into external influences on the community: “I wanted to look at the effects of the wider world on the island, where sporadic work, foreign involvement, conservation, the role of religion, and effects of natural disasters all have an impact on everyday life,” explains Thomas.

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

Exploring these topics through the figurative lens of the Fox family, Thomas grew very close to them. “They became good friends, and even came to my brother’s wedding,” he says. Members of the family feature in many of the photos from the series, and with them Thomas spent time “fishing, eating fish and drinking at bars”. In turn, the life and energy seen in the shots through such scenes is beautifully juxtaposed with the remote landscapes of the island, quiet and brooding.

Speaking on the future of the project, Thomas says that he’d like to publish the series as a book, but that won’t be the end of it. “I doubt I will ever draw a line under the series and say it’s done. I’d like to return every couple of years for as long as I can. It’s always good and there’s always something new… The only challenge is actually getting to the Bahamas.”

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond

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Thomas Pratt: Salt Pond