Dafydd Jones Burning Boats (1980-85) Special Boxed Set
Dafydd Jones' photographs of the Burning Boats were taken between 1980 and 1985.
'At Oxford and Cambridge an annual rowing competition between the colleges takes place over a week every summer. The winning team would have a celebratory dinner. Traditionally after the dinner a boat would be set alight and the rowers would jump over the flames. I photographed the event several times. The first time at Oriel college Oxford in 1981. I returned to Oriel in 1984 and that same year I discovered a similar event happened in Cambridge too - so I went there. The Cambridge Burning Boat at Downing was just as reckless and dangerous. In 1984 I remember being temporary blinded by an ember. I've gone back to look at the films again and printed overlooked pictures. Apart from the drama I like the pictures for their abstract qualities - with the embers blowing around with smoke and fire and parts of the picture disappearing. Challenging but rewarding to print in the darkroom. By 1985 at Christchurch college the flames were allowed to burn down considerably before anyone jumped over the flame. I'm told that nowadays for Health and Safety reasons the event the burning boat is roped off and no jumping takes place.' Dafydd Jones, February 2019.