• Mark cator

Finding Emerson


I’ve circled within Emerson. This world of his that is long gone. This time of his when being worldly was to understand the world you lived in. I grew up with Emerson, I grew around Emerson and wondered why a man, who himself grew up on a sugar plantation in Cuba, trained as a physician in London, qualified as a surgeon, ended up immortalising the life and landscapes of the Norfolk Broads, Breydon Water and Great Yarmouth through his photographs and words, between the years 1885 to 1890.

His photographs transcended everything when I was young. That there existed a time governed by seasons, that worlds existed within worlds. To laze a day watching a blue sky or passing cloud, lying in the litter of dead reeds, with the inscrutable gaze of Emerson looking on, I knew I would struggle to find the world he lived and photographed.

Peter Henry Emerson, Ricking the Reed, from Life & Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, 1887

Peter Henry Emerson, Coming Home from the Marshes, Life & Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, 1887

Peter Henry Emerson, An Eel Catchers Home, from Life & Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, 1887