Travelling in a Strange Land

A Collaboration with David Park

  • So now is the time this thing must be done. Now is the time to start this final journey.
  • My own son’s hands, the physical embodiment of the life I have helped bring into the world. Nothing has ever matched the strength of that awareness.
  • So just for a few seconds I'm mindful of all the people who've made this same journey and the passengers around me are replaced by a silent collage...of all the women carrying sadness in their wombs forced to seek help far from family and home.
  • You become a shadow that moves across the house then fades into missing days.
  • Sometimes I don't think I want to go home, go anywhere, but instead make some new kind of life hidden in these streets and passageways.
  • I glimpse him in many places, always fleetingly and never long enough for me to raise my hand and call out to him.
  • And I have come to understand the truth of what Ansel Adams said that you don’t make a photograph just with a camera but that you bring to the act all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard and the people you have loved.


 Travelling In A Strange Land is a creative collaboration with the highly acclaimed writer David Park.  It is my artistic response to his upcoming novel of the same title, which will be published by Bloomsbury in March 2018. The works explore a reflective journey through the themes of familial love and loss.

“Writing is essentially a solitary pursuit so it was both a pleasure and a privilege to collaborate with Sonya Whitefield as she created her photographic response to my novel ‘Travelling in a Strange Land’. When Sonya read the first draft of the novel and discussed it with me it was clear she possessed intuitive and deeply personal insights into its themes and preoccupations.

The wonderful photographs she has produced journey to the very heart of what I was trying to achieve and also illuminate aspects that have been hidden in my own consciousness. At the end of ‘Travelling in a Strange Land’ the central character states that life reveals itself only as mystery. Working in black and white and choosing to use traditional photographic methods, Sonya’s work resonates with this powerful and intriguing sense of mystery. The images captured reveal both a tenderness and a sense of intellectual strength. In the external world portrayed and the shadowed interiors of the heart, her eye has captured again and again what I have struggled to express in words.” David Park