Westbound Sign is an ongoing travel photography project. Sometimes I document things, but more often than not, I just take pretty pictures. It's the world through the eyes of a kid who once thought they'd never leave England.

I know that as far as
my fine art work goes, taking pretty pictures demeans me in the eyes of the art world. I hesitated for a long time before deciding to show this project alongside my others. But this is something I love doing and there's no real reason, other than elitism, to censor myself.

Growing up in poverty with a single mum, I was always that one kid without holiday stories. One year, my mum bought me an atlas almost as tall as me. I spent days poring over maps and the country blurbs in the back, memorising facts like populations, life expectancies, religions and capital cities. Then I'd imagine how those populations lived, or what those capital cities looked like. I thought I'd never find out.

Now, cheap flights and the internet enable my mum and I to travel. We're always on a dangerous shoestring budget, where if one thing goes wrong, we're in trouble. But it's great fun. I take photos I love and that I'm excited to share. Elitists might scoff at me, but I hope that one day, a kid like me sees my photos and is transported to a world they, too, will be able to explore when they grow up.

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© 2019 Maria Gloria Harvey

 Fine art and self portrait photographer.