Mileage May Vary is the documentation of cars that escaped, and sold during the 2009 Vehicle Scrappage Scheme. The Scheme was set out by the then Labour Government as a way to recoup revenue after the 2008 Financial Crisis by offering motorists a £2000 discount on a brand new car if they handed in their existing vehicle to the manufacturer, as long as it was at least 10 years old. Whilst this was a way to stimulate a depressed market, it was also a way to reduce the number of older, unsafe and polluting vehicles on the road and replacing them with newer, safer and greener cars. During the scheme running between 2009 and 2019, 392,227 vehicles were taken off of Britain’s roads and eventually scrapped. Despite the scheme, some of the vehicles that were meant to be scrapped managed to escape its grips and survive today. By 2040, the sale of fossil fuelled vehicles will be phased out and replaced with electric cars. This means that the norm of petrol and diesel powered vehicles are becoming fossil fuelled dinosaurs facing extinction. 

This work began as an inherent interest in vehicles, and then grew into the documentation of anachronistic cars existing past their intended time scale. Against the odds, these vehicles have surpassed their expected years of use and manage to coexist amongst the digital era, where computerisation and electrical systems prevail over more analogue counterparts. These vehicles are - in a sense - escapees from a governmental system that tried to rid them from our roads, and yet they are still hiding from the grips of time. Yet, soon enough, their time will eventually come.

Amongst the vehicle heavy imagery, is my own hidden feelings of alienation and estrangement from our late capitalist system. For me, I feel extremely indifferent about many aspects of modern society, such as social media, data farming, smartphones, selfies, political ennui and social letdowns. The cars are also tokens of capitalism, acting (once as) trophies to many people, showing everyone that they earn a good enough wage to afford a high end model of a Ford Mondeo. This is extenuated when they’re sitting proudly on a driveway on a nice house in a nice neighbourhood.

The vast majority of these photographs were taken in Colerne, Wiltshire. This is where I spent the entirety of the COVID-19 Lockdown, when we were only allowed out of the house once a day for our daily allotted exercise. A select few images were taken right before the lockdown, as well as after it in Plymouth, Devon. They were taken on a Mamiya 7ii, paired with a 65mm F4 using Kodak Portra 160 and Fujifilm Superia 400, which expired in 2012. This was to retain better detail than shooting digitally, and to whittle down what I was shooting by constantly forcing myself to 10 images per roll, and only bringing one roll with me to shoot.


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