On Beauty

What does it mean to belong somewhere? What does an arbitrary patch of square- footage have to fulfill, in order for it to become a home? In an age where we’re always connected, and ever travelled... is there a need to belong somewhere at all?

These questions and many others like them were posed to a number of people from all over the world. Here, you’ll find a selection of photographic portraits, poems and reflections, inspired by these interviews.

Images: Timothy Percival/Dimitra Gkouma
Words: Louis Pollard


David’s outlook on life is laced with sentimentality. He remembers, for example, his rural upbringing. He remembers positive interactions with both strangers and acquaintances alike. In one sense, he adopts an optimistic worldview: where if we all just acted more mindfully, life would be a better place to live. On the other hand, he sits reproachfully, waiting for the rotten fruits of humankind’s labour to beat that positivity to the finish line.

It’s a farmyard,
an oaky voice,
a kind act,
a good friend.
It’s inevitability.
It’s doing what you can when you can

for the right reasons,
in the places that make you feel most alive, before the world
sort of eats itself
like a wild animal protecting its young.


Like many of us, Sebastian searches for a place to call home. As a man who immigrated to the UK, he’s unable to find that tacit feeling of belonging no matter how hard he looks. That is, until he discovers an unsuspected artifact that transports him back to his native New Zealand. In this minute snapshot, we reflect on how emotionally powerful the smallest of sensory inputs can be.

Smile at strangers all you want...
It’s not the people. The light’s different; bluer, colder,

so it’s not that either. Running fingers along the table, exploring

the grain like braille, somehow zen. Suddenly,
I’m at a familiar desk, an Earth away.


Yole’s alternate lens on beauty and ugliness offers up a distinct irony: that which is beautiful is strived for, thus relatively commonplace, thus unremarkable... and so on, until she arrives at the conclusion that actually, whatever beautiful thing is being examined is in fact ugly. Conversely, the opposite is true. The poppy, for instance, despite all its affiliations with death and war, offered Yole a welcome break from the uniformity of the boilerplate landscape of the city.

Home is not a place that’s half-snowing, to the beat of backwards cars.
A home made in ugliness -
a distinct rhythm from the slums - warmed by lavender,

reveling in the simple poppy:
in its mane,
there is hope,

there is beautiful silence.



TIMOTHY PERCIVAL works and lives in London. Practicing as an exhibiting artist across multiple visual disciplines, his work concerns itself with the architectural, the spatial, and the environmental. He has recently been awarded for his work on 8mm film, and has been shortlisted for this year's summer exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.


LOUIS POLLARD is an author, poet and copywriter from Bournemouth. His pursuits within the creative agency world offer a day-job that extracts the good, encourages the wholesome and rewards a mindset of positivity and improvement. Any time that is left is channeled into more cathartic, visceral prose, with an emphasis on the beauty of the mundane, the darkness of the human psyche, and the bitter-sweet twang of life in general. 


DIMITRA GKOUMA was born in Athens, Greece. Currently living in London she works predominantly with photography. Her work is strongly influenced by figurative art, and she has based her practice on themes and concerns around and about the human. She has just graduated from a BA Hons course in Photography at the London College of Communication, University of Arts London.