Photographer Cat Vinton’s work follows nomadic people in the natural world, but the pandemic meant being closer to home – living out of her vehicle and exploring the Cornish way of life
The last embers of my fire flicker orange and red in the dark. It has warmed me after my evening swim shared with a grey seal, a curious female at the water’s edge, under the soft pink hues of the setting sun.
The nights are beginning to draw in and the temperature is dropping. Tonight’s home is a magical one: a hidden spot somewhere on the Roseland Heritage coast.
I am curled up in my tiny space with only a canvas shell between me and the elements. Tonight is calm: a beautiful moon path marks the ocean and is my view through the open back of my family’s Land Rover. I drift off to sleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore and the call of tawny owls across the night sky.
For the last few years I’ve not called one place home. Instead, I’ve roamed across the globe – from the High Himalaya to the Arctic Circle, the Gobi Desert to the Andaman Sea – weaving my life and work as a photographer, more in tune with a wilder spirit and those who still live connected to nature.
As the world locked down in March, not only my work but my entire way of life ground to a quiet halt, forcing me to look inward and to grapple with the meaning of “home”.
My pull was to the ocean of the south-west of England. Thanks to my friend Louise Middleton, for those three months of lockdown I watched over a wild pocket of the north Cornish coast – an old slate quarry that overlooks the sea at Trebarwith Strand. It is a beautifully curated space, totally off-grid, that Louise has named Kudhva (meaning hideout in Cornish). Kudhva is a visionary architectural hideout that draws creative people who thrive on a life connected to the outdoors.
I became part of a community at Kudhva and my days were spent in fascinating conversation, working on the land with the locals. This is what I do on my projects – immerse myself in a way of life, documenting people who are connected to their land and community around the world. I fell into a way of doing the same on home shores.
Original publication 9 December, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 30th December 2020
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