Mark Neville’s portraits inspire visions of ‘Ecotopia’

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Mark Neville began shooting semi-staged portraits in the French region of Brittany in a funk at Britain’s divisive Brexit referendum. But he emerged somewhere unexpected: a vision of ‘ecotopia’.

“This idea of ecotopia underpins all the images — this kind of search for happiness or utopia, through a relationship with the land and food, and animals — and suggests that this is the way forward, basically,” he explained, at the Photographers’ Gallery in London.

The British photographer began shooting the series of portraits of local Breton farmers on the day of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, in response to his own feeling of disappointment at the political turn toward border-building. In the next three years, for his project “Parade,”…

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