The rural places of the city

In Les Misérables (1862), Victor Hugo describes the ‘bastard countryside, somewhat ugly but bizarre, made up of two different natures’ which surrounds cities: ‘End of trees, beginning of roofs, end of grass, beginning of paving stones…’

A century and a half later, those same ambiguous non-places are what interests Lawrence James Bailey. Whereas in his earlier work he focussed on the border area between city and countryside and the rugged no man’s land that typifies this transitional zone, this summer he is looking for the urban wilderness of Amsterdam. ‘

The city is human territory, entirely designed and organized, and yet weeds still grow between the paving stones. I am searching for the often unnoticed places where culture and nature collide or merge into one another in a messy limbo.’