“The lives of horses and gypsies have always been strongly intertwined going right back to their very origins as travelers. Whilst nowadays cars and modern caravans have largely replaced the traditional horse and cart, the horse still remains an integral part of the travellers’ DNA. The main calendar event of the traveller world are horse fairs where horses are traded, girls search for husbands and family and friends from far and wide reunite. It was through this window that I was able to capture the nuances that comprise this colourful aspect of their culture. My shoots took me to regional horse fairs from Appleby in Cumbria, across to Ballianasloe in Ireland, all the way south to Wickham horse fair in Portsmouth – it was a surprising, compelling and beguiling journey. I loved the vibrancy and showmanship of the fairs, they are totally mesmerising. Whilst shooting I often felt like I had gone back in time – incredible faces, theatrical outfits, traditional carts, gleaming horses, cockerel fights, singing birds and fortune-tellers. All of which are a powerful reminder of traveller traditions stemming directly back to their origins in Egypt and India. The process was very organic and the series is a spontaneous, intuitive reaction to what I observed. I became obsessed with small details – the fashion, makeup, eyebrows, hairstyles, market fakes, leather, bits and whips. I use diptychs as a way to tell a more complete story. The photos that make up the pairs resonate with each other. I recorded the things that caught my eye and made me smile – it’s a series of fun incidentals that come together to tell a visual story. I hope it gives the viewer a new understanding and appreciation of traveller culture. For all the criticism that travellers attract, I found plenty of gold”- Sophie Green
Sophie Green is social documentary and portrait photographer based in London. She has a strong interest in British culture and she wants to challenge the common misconceptions and judgements that can exist in our society and provide a platform for the subjects to tell their story.
Sophie is fascinated by imperfections in life, human vulnerabilities and our ability to overcome adversity – the re occurring theme throughout her work is the power of the human spirit. She is intrigued by communities united together by mutual circumstance. She believes that trust and respect are fundamental to the process of creating an emotional and revealing portrait. Many of her projects develop over several years in order to honour and respect the subjects’ lives and portray them truthfully through images and text. She wants her photography to reflect a vision, tell stories and provide an insight that is not always accessible on the surface.