This series relates to a secret British Air Ministry project that took place during the Second World War. Sound City film studios in Shepperton were commissioned to design fake cities, airfields, docks and oil refineries. The objective of this simulation was to divert enemy bombs away from the real targets. The decoys were set up a few miles away from their 'parent' locations and constructed using fires and electric lights. Today, only control bunkers remain at many of the sites as crumbling reminders of this forgotten endeavour. They sheltered the crew and housed generators for the lights. This simulation diverted 5% of enemy bombs away from their intended destinations.

The project is informed by archive sources and my images are made at former decoy locations. I am intrigued by simple ingenuity of the decoy designs and wish to record the disappearing structures and empty sites. I introduce theatrical lighting to animate the landscape and to evoke visual deception in war.

I will be giving an illustrated talk about the Decoy project at the London Metropolitan Archives on Thursday 22nd June 2017.


Bombing decoy site at Kenn Moor, Somerset
Bombing decoy site at Kenn Moor, Somerset
Bombing decoy site near Liddington, Wilstshire
Using Format