“My fascination with the quirks and eccentricities of travellers was born after watching the Channel 4’s series, ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’. I became captivated by the heritage and traditions behind their lives and I felt compelled to go and discover their unique culture for myself.
The 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. At the fairs, horses are traded, girls search for husbands and friends and family from far and wide reunite.
I love the vibrancy and colours of the fairs and find them totally mesmerising – incredible faces, theatrical outfits, traditional carts, horses, cockerel fights, singing birds and fortune-tellers. Whilst shooting I often felt like I had gone back in time. 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. It’s a series of fun incidentals which create a visual story.
I didn’t want this project to become a deep, meaningful, intellectual narrative but to simply record what caught my eye and made me smile. For all the criticism that travellers attract I found plenty of gold.”
Sophie Green is a social documentary and portrait photographer based in London. Her photography is a spontaneous, intuitive reaction to the ordinary – capturing unconventional beauty in its natural, everyday environment.
Green has astrong interest in British culture, communities and marginalised people. She uses photography as a way to explore the world and particularly people, providing an insight that is not always accessible on the surface.
Green is published widely with clients including The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, VICE, Man About Town, Re-Edition, Victory Journal and i-D Magazine. She has been nominated for the Magnum Photos Graduate Award in 2015, selected for IdeasTap and Magnum Photographic Award in 2014 and included in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.
She has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Four Corners, Photo London at Somerset House, Dray Walk Gallery, The Truman Brewery and Houses Of Parliament.