Buckland left South Africa in 1988 to take up a scholarship to study in the UK.
As a young photographer this series marked a new visual language. It established an individual style that echoed the political landscape of the fraught 1980’s, in South Africa.
Shortly before her departure, Buckland stayed in a remote part of the Free State. It felt like a surreal landscape, a backdrop of beauty adjacent to a compact cattle feedlot. Undernourished cattle were sourced from all over the country, bought for a minimum and trucked vast distances to the feedlot. Cattle were fed a complex diet together with hormones and resided in confined pens. In a short period of time they were fattened and sold. Any cattle that died unnaturally were autopsied and sold to farm labourers for R2 a kilogram.
Buckland found these to be the perfect ingredients for metaphoric work in establishing a new photographic voice.
In turn during her time in Birmingham UK, she came across British photographer, Martin Parr, whose work captures both the comic and tragic sides of British society. He also worked in colour. With the cultural boycott and SA’s isolation during the 1980’s, conscious South African photographers were working predominately within the tradition of black and white and few were working in colour. Discovering Martin Parrs work became a catalyst that informed Buckland’s work.
She responding to her environment with speed and intuition, often in a symbolic way – a question of seeing the image and acting in the moment. This approach led to other better known works, Beach and Pier, Wales, UK (1989) and Kruger’s Day, Brand Rd (1994) and established Buckland’s distinctive style.