British suburbia – with all its housing estates, filled with cul-de-sac streets and obscurely named lanes.There is an irony there, when you choose to see it, for cul-de-sac – a term used for “dead ends”, or “no exit” – literal meaning: “ass of a bag”, describes so neatly a British suburban town.
What happens in the ass of a bag? Not much… people live their quaint lives, following the formula that society has forged for them. It’s easier to follow the formula, because then you don’t have to think for yourself and hopefully life will be simple.
Sometimes there are people who are trapped in the ass of the bag, who don’t want to follow the formula, and the only way to survive is to find beauty in the mundane or the banal.
It takes an acute eye to find the beauty and the quirks that make British suburbia distinctive. Offering stylised moments, dreamy and tender, photographer Ollie Ma’ captures these quirks through his camera lens. Featuring Declan Cullen of band IDOL, juxtaposed in front of a typical suburban backdrop of red brick, TV aerials and despondent graffiti.
Inspired by the simplicity and familiar structure of pop music, Cullen aims to writes songs that are catchy, and like any good pop melody, act as escapism. As he puts it, “a pop song provides a fleeting moment of pleasure that is direct and without complications.”
Wherever boredom and apathy breeds, so does creativity and fervour. Combined with the ceaseless rain that Britain endures, occasionally magic happens in the ass of a bag.
Cul de sac is original text by Claire Silvanna Cullen for SPOON Magazine.