Local photographer Martin Toft shares his 'Masterplan'
Masterplan is a long-term research project developed by award-winning photographer Martin Toft in 2015 using photography, film and archives to tell the story of Jersey’s contemporary prosperity as an International Finance Centre.
A selection of images spanning four years of work have been recently exhibited internationally in two major group shows including Taxed To The Max at Noorderlicht International Photography Festival in Groningen, The Netherlands 6 Oct – 1 Dec and Capital at Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Ballarat, Australia 24 Aug –20 Oct.
Adding to the Jersey Archives
The project is a collaboration between Martin Toft and the Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive leading to multiple project outcomes such as a website, thematic photobooks, touring exhibition and Masterplan Project Archive deposited in the island of Jersey’s cultural records for future research and public enjoyment.
The huge importance of the finance sector to the post-war economic trajectory of the island of Jersey is an area in which Photographic Archives until now remain deficient. Although the Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive contains rich documentary of Jersey and St Helier’s landscape, social and business histories in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, major post-war developments in landscape, infrastructure and society are not represented in a coherent visual narrative.
Of the work, Toft explains; ‘Reflecting on the magnitude of the finance sector within the Jersey economy, Masterplan explores a range of critical enquiries from its impact on the built-environment, development of new offices, working practices, business anthropology and the use of photography in the construction of corporate identities.’
He continues; ‘A visual record of contemporary Jersey is a question of what visual record there is of finance. And, what is a visual record of finance? Adopting both an exterior view of the sector from the outside and interior examination of work within the industry Masterplan proposes to re-address parts of the legacy upon which Jersey’s economic growth and development in the past, present and future has been told.’
Martin received ArtHouse Jersey funding in 2016 towards the project, travelling to to Utrecht to work with award-winning Dutch designers Kummer & Hermann to design visual concept, website and promotional material.