Shoot! was developed over five years by County Durham based photographer Louise Taylor. During this time she joined a small pheasant and partridge shooting syndicate close to her home in Tow Law, County Durham on both work and shoot days.
The shooting season for pheasant runs from 1st October until 1st February but creates a year-round social space as members share the cost and labour of preparing for the season. During the closed season this involves ongoing woodland management and rearing game birds for release.
Participants are extremely diverse men and women of all ages come from rural and urban areas, and from a wide range of cultural, educational and occupational backgrounds. They are drawn together by a common love of the countryside, the wildlife it supports and the locally reared food it can provide.
Whilst the main aim is to shoot ‘sporting’ game birds, the process makes up part of a much broader social occasion for passing on traditions and country living practices, and sharing game recipes.
Shoot! the book was published by Wideyed Editions to support the exhibition Shoot!, shown at DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery (18th October 2013 - 9th January 2014) as part of The Social: Encountering Photography, an international celebration of photography, organised by North East Photography Network. The limited edition, handbound artists book features photographs from the series and game recipes collected from syndicate members.
Louise Taylor is County Durham based and since graduating from the University of Westminster in 1996 has worked and travelled widely. From nomads in Mongolia, organic wine production in France, Gypsies and Travellers of County Durham, local shooting syndicates and rare breed enthusiasts, her work focuses on rural issues, people and place. A strong connection to the land is the common thread throughout.
Louise is a founding member of arts collective Wideyed, and along with Lucy Carolan & Richard Glynn has taken part in key photography festivals (FORMAT, Fotofestiwal Lodz, Mois de la Photo-OFF), received awards and bursaries, participated in international arts residencies and exhibited from England to India.