Martina Sanzeri


Photo of empty greenhouse
Anywhere But Here

I am a photographer based in Hertfordshire. During my studies at Hertford Regional College and Anglia Ruskin University I learnt to explore a range of artistic strategies which has made me open to being creative and adaptive in every situation. I often work and experiment with various styles, themes and subjects to create compelling documentary projects. I am passionate about using photography as a medium for social engagement and critical commentary. With my photography I aim to create something meaningful that provides critical awareness on issues that affect society and connect with audiences on a deeper level.

Anywhere But Here is a documentary project exploring the socio-economic impact global trade, the energy crisis and Brexit is having on farmers in Britain, more specifically those running greenhouse businesses.

My grandparents are Italian immigrants who moved to Hertfordshire in the 1960s. Like many other Italians, they opened a greenhouse business that has been passed down through generations. Employing a combination of digital photography, still-life arrangement, and site-specific work has allowed me to explore a deeply personal project, which, at the same time, is inextricably bound to external influences.

In the Lea Valley area 70% of 100 nurseries are now owned by people of Italian descent. The Lea Valley produces around 75% of Britain’s cucumbers and sweet peppers; however, Britain persists to import 80% of the fruit and vegetables we consume from overseas. Due to the impact many farmers across Britain leave their greenhouses empty over winter as the gas and electricity bills would cost more than the seasonal profit. While some famers have even gone as far as to shut down their businesses.

This series of images showcases my family and what they created for themselves, as well as the impact importation and the energy crisis is having on them, putting them at risk of shutting the doors of their business forever.

Photo of fresh fruit on table in empty greenhouse
Packaging from various imported produce
Photo of many greenhouses and greenhouse roofs
Photo of fluorishing plants in greenhouse
Photo of five people working in empty greenhouse
Photo of man sitting in empty greenhouse
Photo of seedlings growing in trays