TO HAPPINESS, ENDLESSLY
To happiness, endlessly, is a series of encounters from a journey around England. Curious about this country I’m from, a little lost in my own life, and feeling unable to make decisions, I opted to travel with no planned route or destination. Instead I was led by the suggestions of the people I met, many of whom spoke to me of their dreams and sorrows. With no intention to characterise the English as a nation, or England as a country, the trip was imagined more as a series of disconnected experiences joined by their happening within England’s borders, a melancholic psychological journey, and a visual diary of what I saw, who I met, and where I went.
Though this was a personal journey, the photographs and stories I collected on the way explore a universal emotional landscape. The project is true to the melancholic feeling I found almost everywhere as I travelled. In the people I spoke to, the places I visited, the stories I heard, there was a common sense of sadness, fading hope, dissatisfaction, hard times. Thus the images are less a document of the nation, and more a psychological journey through its’ mind, using the physical journey around England to locate itself. The final edit reflects this rather melancholic nature.
More practically, I travelled on public transport and stayed in bed and breakfasts. I had a rule to photograph whatever I was drawn to, and to photograph every day. Along the way I talked with people about being English, and their hopes and dreams. I followed people’s suggestions of where to move on to next. The trip eventually had reasonably even geographical coverage of England.
The entire book can be viewed here.
HANNAH LUCY JONES was born in 1980 in a small village near an unremarkable town in the English Midlands. Following an English Literature degree at Leeds University in the UK, Hannah took a National Council for the Training of Journalists photojournalism course. She then worked as photographer for a press agency in Yorkshire before moving to London as senior photographer at a local south London newspaper. Hannah still lived and works in London.
In 2010, Hannah decided she needed to broaden her photographic horizons and so applied for and was accepted into a Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree at London College of Communication. She received a distinction for her final project, To happiness, endlessly, which was a document of a lonely journey made around England in 2010.
During her studies, Hannah also founded a collective called Five Eleven Ninety Nine with five colleagues. They recently curated an exhibition at the PhotoIreland festival in Dublin, which featured To happiness, endlessly. An image from the project was also selected for the Foto8 Summer Show, and featured on Joerg Colberg’s Conscientious blog as well as on BBC online.