Peter Spurgeon is a documentary photographer based in Bristol, UK. His work examines contemporary and historical uses of landscape. This is done by documenting traces in the land and through research using maps and archives.
His work has been exhibited at PHOTOMASTERS MA Exhibition, Encontros da Imagem, Discovery Award collective projection and ESPY Photography Award. He was nominated for the PhotogrVphy Grant (Conceptual), shortlisted for the ESPY Photography Award and selected for Source MA Graduate Photography Online. His Decoy project has been published in the Encontros da Imagem Discovery Award catalogue and in Source Magazine Graduate Photography.
This series relates to a secret British Air Ministry project that took place during the Second World War. Sound City film studios in Shepperton were commissioned to design fake cities, airfields, docks and oil refineries. The objective of this simulation was to divert enemy bombs away from the real targets. The decoys were set up a few miles away from the true locations and constructed using fires and electric lights. Today, only control bunkers remain at many of the sites as crumbling reminders of this forgotten endeavour. They sheltered the crew and housed generators for the lights. This simulation diverted 5% of enemy bombs away from their intended destinations.
The project is informed by archive sources and my images are made at former decoy locations. I am intrigued by simple ingenuity of the decoy designs and wish to record the disappearing structures and empty sites. I introduce theatrical lighting to animate the landscape and to evoke visual deception in war.