Bob is a blacksmith living in a van within wooded area owned by friends, just outside of a small village in Mid Wales. He’s lived there for over 10 years.
This image was taken by photographer Beth Bicknell who has been documenting the off-grid and the dispossessed for the past several years. Beth’s work is inspired by the very first newspaper photograph ever printed – “labelled ‘Shantytown’, it illustrated a group of homeless settling in Manhattan,” says Beth.
“Bob’s way of life, despite appearing fairly hard wearing, is a remarkable one,” says Beth. “Its incredibly admirable; not needing the every day luxuries we as the commercial consumer, see as necessities. He’s made this choice out of preference, away from bustling towns or cities, in amongst nature, tranquillity.”
At 70 years old, Bob does need help with the upkeep of the land, from his apprentice, and he’s built some outbuildings- incouding a little place for visitors to stay, with a wood burner and workshop bench for his practise. There is a tool shed and a log store. Collecting and sawing logs is vital to provide heat for his van and for cooking. He also has solar panels, providing electricity for a few plug sockets.
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