What happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled? - Abraham Maslow

Maslow engages with the concept of the human desire for purpose in his psychological theory, the hierarchy of needs. At the head of this hierarchy is the idea of self-actualisation. This refers to a person’s realisation of their capabilities and potentials and then their desire to fulfil these potentials. These goals are then progressively achieved through our personal experiences and the discoveries we make throughout our lives. However, the act of self-actualisation is a continuous process of personal advancement, it’s a lifelong pursuit with no end goal or happy ever after. As well as this personal pursuit to understanding ourselves, as a species humans have throughout history continuously strived for a physical knowledge and understanding of our own environment and since our inception we’ve endlessly explored, from neanderthals at the entrance to a cave, to humans studying space in search of our origins. Various progressions in technology allow for innovations and discoveries to be made. The camera, like the metal detector is a device forever searching for the invisible, each machine allowing the user to piece together untold narratives and gain a greater understanding of their own surroundings. Using photography as the vehicle and with a group of Metal Detectorists from Cardiff as the focus, this combination of subject and medium has drawn comparisons between the two technologies and has allowed the body of work to question and explore the innate human fixation and longing for discovery.

Using Format