WORKS 2014-2023 - Oliver Tooke

"What follows is a nine year project, set in the Middle East and Europe, that dwells on the idea of an individuals’ moral journey and purpose."

Artist: Oliver Tooke
Project: Works 2014-2023

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Set in five chapters, it is heavily influenced by my experiences of having the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and the War on Terror as an uneasy back-drop to my teenagehood, and the worldview that formed in me since my youth.

The first four chapters are photographic, and the final chapter a short semi-fictional story. In order, the four photographic chapters depict; scenes along the river Tigris in Iraq; a three and a half week bike ride from London to Venice; witnessing the lives of Syrian refugees in the Middle East and Europe; and a series of landscapes set across the Middle East and North Africa. The fifth and final chapter is a short semi-fictional story that speaks of my process, ideas and inspiration, and makes occasional reference to the photographic works."



"The projects feature literal journeys, as well as touching on themes of transience and the effect these have on a person; set during the past ten years, during which time the world has felt unmoored, unanchored and unsteady. The work is very much about a person’s interior world, development, and moral journey. Taking stock of the world around you, figuring out what a person stands for, what they represent, what grounds them.

While the work is very personal to myself, it strikes a cord with many people of a certain age and place who have a feeling that they are inheriting a diminishing world, and that our efforts to positively change it are being stymied. The work is not a call to arms, but at it’s core, it asks people to seek out beauty and grace in what is around you."



© Oliver Tooke

Oliver Tooke is a non-fiction photographer. 
He takes a very long time to work on projects.
Currently working on a nine year series of projects set Europe, Middle East and North Africa, stemming from his teenage years growing up during the Iraq War and War On Terror, which significantly shaped his world view.
He did his MA Photography at the University of the West of England (2021), and his BA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of Gloucestershire (2014). 
Day to day he works doing deliveries on his bike. Hand made prints available on request.


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