Jill Cole (b 1967) is a documentary photographer based in the north of England. She lectures in photography at Cleveland College of Art and Design whilst undertaking research and commissions for charities and organisations that support environmental and social change. Her work combines still life, landscape and portrait images in an attempt to engage audiences both critically and responsively. Prior to becoming a photographer Jill worked for over ten years in ethical and rural development. Her work has received critical recognition and has been exhibited both in the UK and internationally.
Created over the last eighteen months on British military land, this series shows birds captured for scientific and conservation research on a nature reserve within an army garrison in North Yorkshire. As part of a national bird ringing programme birds are caught during flight in fine nets erected between poles. Trained ringers maintain high levels of welfare throughout the process of capture, data gathering, ringing and release. By allocating each with a unique number the birds are identified as individuals whilst contributing to a broader understanding of the movement and population changes of species as a whole. The series is drawn from a larger body of work, Training Land, which brings together portraits of young army recruits on paintballing exercise with winter landscapes of military firing ranges. By referencing the interrelationship between conflict, beauty and renewal the aim is to locate our own, distanced realities within an ongoing presence of war.