Peter Bennett, UK Going Away These photographs are from the series Going Away, which explores the coast as a place of escape from which we contemplate past time. This is a landscape rich in associations between what is fixed and placeless, time bound and timeless. The use of faint printing alludes to the appearance of old photographs, which over time are bleached by too much light, dissolving away what is visible and reminding us that the medium of photography, celebrated for its ability to capture time, is itself impermanent.
Jon Wyatt, UK Bamboo (six seconds) Every six seconds fifteen acres of the planet are deforested. That’s 60,000 sq metres, or six hectares, or nine football pitches. Every six seconds……the time it’s taken you to read these words. Shot in a bamboo forest in Anhui Province, China, the exposure time of each of these images is six seconds. Why bamboo? Touted as a miracle crop to counter deforestation, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Growing up to four feet a day, one hectare of bamboo sequesters sixty-two tons of carbon dioxide per year. Generating up to 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees it can be used for everything from food, fabrics, paper, building material and oil. But. Rising demand from the west has brought new environmental concerns for bamboo forests. Increased use of unregulated pesticides in production and strong chemical solvents in processing the bamboo has poisoned watercourses and threatens precious animal habitat. Indiscriminate harvesting of this ‘miracle crop’ has resulted in half the world’s species of bamboo now being in imminent danger of extinction.
‘Untitled I’ from the series ‘Huangshan Ltd’
Neil Craver, US
OmniPhantasmic OmniPhantasmic* —————————————— *Omni- 1. A combining form denoting all, every, everywhere; as in omnipotent, all-powerful; omnipresent; omnivorous. *Phantasmic- 1. Something apparently seen but having no physical reality; a phantom or an apparition. Also called phantasma. 2. An illusory mental image. 3. In Platonic philosophy, objective reality as perceived and distorted by the five senses. This project is meant to be consumed with your emotions, and not simply perceived with your sense organs. I wanted a transcendental meaning behind them; not only with the use of chromatics and aesthetics. But with my intended focus be on the philosophical theories, I wanted a “subliminal composition” to create an under tow of messages to stress the strong influences of unconscious elements affecting and driving people’s lives. And with the creation of a strong undercurrent of incommunicable thoughts, would be the stage for illuminating the subconscious intellect into a perception; not deception. The visual aesthetics are purely symbolic in their thought application and structure; with decomposing forests of broken memory connections, and tumbling of vertigo into the correct positions of phenomenal reality. The shallowness of the area above the horizon line indicates the division of the limited amount of information consciously perceivable (atmosphere-above) and the larger mass storage of all the sense information, rationalizations,and prejudices of the subconscious below (hydrosphere-below). The nexus of contingents between drowning and floating, falling and flying, dying and living are some of the main unphysical-intangible themes in this series. A dominant temporal element of composition would be the use of the female form. I used the intrinsic values of this object to exploit and illustrate the submerged network of the unconscious condemnation and restriction of the nude form in popular society. With this formation of energies being repressed in the subconscious state, one’s behavior could start to dissolve the foundation of the self. With no outlets for expression, one could only predict the unconscious wishes could turn into anxiety and transform into synthetic states; such as phobias,aggression, and other maladjusted personality disorders. What you can perceive and process is an extremely finite portion of what you receive from the physical environment. And to truly grasp the vexing questions of your inner facilities, you must open yourself to a flood of unrestricted information. So one must dive into the cloudy placid waters of the subconscious world to uncover a linkage between the conscious and the subconscious mind. Once the excavation is started; the illumination of the self imposed restrains of values, ideas, and moral codes will dissolve. When the subconscious floods pass society’s imprisonment; starting a process of uncontaminated awareness; a penetrating understanding will unfold!
Manuel Cosentino, Italy
Rebecca Dagnall, Australia There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble in the treesThis work is to be exhibited in large scale, it is difficult to see the intricacies of the images in such small scale. Image #10 for instance is 100cm x 256cm. Artists statement: The current series, There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble in the trees is an exploration of heavy metal culture as a particular genre of suburban iconography. With the intention to create a ‘suburban aesthetic’ this work draws together elements of traditional landscape, fantasy poster art and the dark imagery of heavy metal culture. The work depicts the elements of suburban cultural iconography that have become cliché and brings them into an almost uncomfortable realm of high art. The portrait like skulls and creatures that emerge from the landscape itself, echo the haunts of gothic landscape and seduce the audience into a dark and uneasy yet beautifully inviting space. (Dagnall 2011) from catalogue essay: Julian Goddard The abstraction of evil in our culture is everywhere – especially in the visual culture of the young and those who once were young. ‘Metal’ bands such as Metallica and Anthrax, the bête noir of 1980s’ rock, are now mainstream – as is the iconography of their subculture; especially evident in tattoo imagery – redolent with neo-Gothic images of Satin, demons, evil-looking spirits, lots of blood and guts and plenty of death…. This imagery of facile evil has become passé. (Goddard 2011, catalogue essay) There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble in the trees, incorporates the aesthetics of this iconography into a new space – the Australian bush. By infecting the bush with this threatening and menacing aesthetic – in a way Rebecca revives the power of this iconography and gives it a new seductive spin. The history of Australian art and literature is soaked in ideas of the bush as a site of not-belonging and alienation; a place of threat and fear. This trope has dominated European-Australian culture and persists despite over two hundred years of occupancy. While Rebecca’s images tap into this vein of Aussie existentialism she has given it a new cultural twist. The imagery of an Australian Gothic landscape. The early nineteenth century Gothic revival was part of the internationalization of Romanticism and the spread of German Idealist philosophy directed by Hegel, with his insistence on a spiritual role for art in the face of the industrialization and Positivism of Enlightenment culture. This revival included the re-imagining of the landscape as a place of spiritual epiphany and its use as metaphor for religious salvation – so beautifully painted by Casper David Friedrich. However there was another side to this re-invigoration of the symbolic language of landscape. Artists and writers such as Arnold Böcklin in Germany and Edgar Allan Poe in the USA crafted a different landscape – a macabre and threatening space full of dread and melancholy. In the recent popularization of the imagery of this ‘dark side’ the landscape seems to have been usurped by the city and suburbia – which is understandable given the development of modern culture. However Rebecca has chosen to morph this iconography into images of the bush that are just as convincing as the recent popular visual rhetoric of the neo-Gothic. What is remarkable about these images is that not only do they remind us of our primal suspicion of nature as a place of danger, but also that they do so at a time when nature is being eulogized by Eco-millenarian fundamentalism. To present nature – the bush – as threatening and malignant flies in the face of contemporary ideas of nature as precious, fragile and benign. Even so these images do have that ‘dark beauty’ that we associate with the traditions of the seduction of that which is bad and dangerous. Their forced symmetry and deep manipulation suck us into a place that is uneasy and uncomfortable – but deeply delicious. (Goddard 2011, catalogue essay) Rebecca Dagnall is a Perth based emerging artist working in the medium of photography. Rebecca is currently on the committee for the Perth Centre for Photography and is a Lecturer in photography at Curtin University. Rebecca’s work has been exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography (09), Lawrence Wilson gallery (09), John Curtin gallery (03) and at the Pingyao International Photography festival in China(10). She was selected to produce work for the Bon Scott Project at the Fremantle Arts Centre (08) and had her first solo exhibition at the Turner Galleries in 2009. Recently she has had a solo at MARS gallery Melbourne and the debut of her new work at the Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne. Currently she has work showing at the Lodz photographic festival and will be having a solo at the Queensland Centre for Photography in October. Rebecca has been a finalist in some prestigious awards such as the William Bowness Photographic Award (09,10), the Josephine Ulrich and Win Shubert Photographic award (09,11) and she was a semi finalist in the Moran Photographic Award last year. Rebecca has work in private collections and more of her work can be seen at www.turnergalleries.com.au or at www.rebeccadagnall.com cv_2011_1 Florence Iff, Switzerland Post Arcadia The central theme of one of my long-term projects is the domestication of nature, which encompasses both exterior and inner space as concepts on aesthetics. Landscape in its self is in its origin a concept, which roots in the beginning of industrialization and renaissance painting. Seen as a concept, landscape therefore represents an image of an idea. We declare what an ideal landscape looks like and represent it e.g. in a photographic reproduction. Consequently new images of nature are internalized. With this interior imagery we again create landscapes within which we physically and mentally range. Spaces of artificial environment, zones of attraction and splinter development are becoming increasingly familiar and merge constantly with the remaining rural and suburban landscape. In everyday life simulations of landscape and nature in relation of educative, scientific, recreational-oriented or economical contexts are ubiquitous. They not only influence our notion of nature in its derivation but also enhance implicitness of a designed environment. The differentiation between image, copy, representation, simulation and finally simulacrum is increasingly more difficult. The pictures of the series “Post Arcadia” indicate in content and form a room representing the above mentioned phenomena. These are both implicit in the term of landscape and photography. Florence-Iff-e-CV Jo Metson Scott and Nicola Yeoman, UK And Then…. “And Then……” is a collaborative project between photographer Jo Metson Scott & artist Nicola Yeoman. It is series of ethereal photographs depicting mystical and beautiful worlds in woodland landscapes. Through a mutual process of experimentation, interests and admiration of each others practices, Metson Scott’s and Yeoman’s partnership began in 2006 when they created a displaced Pirate ship crashing through an open copse in a unknown British woodland. The success of this working relationship developed into an ongoing series over the following years. ‘And Then…’ explores notions of childlike fantasies, escapism, and Neverland make-believe worlds that are created in times of play and adventure. The images capture elaborate dens and temporary spaces which exist for only a small time, using a few props, found items or the fauna around the locale. This series of photographs contain open ended narratives, leaving room for the viewer’s own imagination or interpretation; the outcome can be as innocent or as macabre as you would wish it to be. ‘And Then…’ deals with displacement, things that are not quite as they should be, for example sea-bound Ships or UFO’s in woodland, and driverless Horse drawn carriages charging through an open field, they appear ghostly when seen through a supernatural mist or fog. The landscapes within the ‘And Then…’ series are as important as the structures themselves, a fallen branch within the woods can take on the role as the bow of a ship, or the wing of a plane. It is the shapes created in nature that feed this project. Lyn Balzer and Tony Perkins, Australia Lyn Balzer & Tony Perkins – photographic artists Photographic collaborators Lyn Balzer & Tony Perkins have been working together for over 12 years in a relationship that is almost symbiotic. “Our fascination with the Australian landscape stems from an upbringing on Australiaʼs east coast near the idyllic rainforests and beaches of Byron Bay – our photographs reflect a deep passion and commitment to the beauty and extremes of the Australian environment.” Our work is a 21st century reinterpretation of the “Cult of Nature,” an obsessive urge to create within a world where nature exists around us, but also within our soul—nature as a visual code for the sublime. The “Ravish of Nature” is a recurring theme in our exploration of the nude. Inspired by diverse visual sources such as Rodin’s sensual watercolours, Marcel Duchampʼs masterpiece GIVEN and the surreal qualities of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, we explore the erotic tension between the potency of nature and the implicit sexuality of the naked female. We like to put a soft, fleshy, vulnerable body into the environment and then to watch nature overtake it, scratch it, dirty it and, yet, the body never quite succumbs to this primal force, its beauty and spirit remaining strong and defiant. Our muse is chosen for her quality of spirit—an inherent, unfathomable presence. The powerful symbolism of the unforgiving forces of the environment as they engulf the fragile body, colliding in moments of opposition, is explored with a raw, sensual vision. Our images are all created “in camera,” with little or no retouching or manipulation. We choose certain films and specific lighting to enhance the surreal qualities of our images so that the embrace of the startlingly strong colours of our country – the vibrant blues, greens and reds, amplify an abstracted, otherworldly state with impossibly blue skies, raw textural flora and pale, ethereal forms. Our images are sites of contrast since the landscape is set against the apparent fragility of the feminine form—milky limbs against the lush, blue of skies and soft skin against the razor-sharp grass. The Australian landscape stands here as a simultaneously beautiful yet foreboding entity: the relationship between Nature and the nude form is an impermanent one.The strong use of light, colours and textured surfaces marks our awkward co-existence with the landscape. “Strangelands,” our evolving series, is the world that we enter in our images. It physically exists between the boundaries of the everyday and the exotic—marginal places such as abandoned quarries, deserted beaches and swamps. It’s a world inspired by the Decadence – where the creation of a mythic, dreamlike state overcomes the observational quality of the photographic process. The resultant effect is a combination of abstraction and realism, producing a body of work that is as intimate and beautiful as it is mysterious and resounding. A selection of Lyn & Tonyʼs photographic art nudes can be viewed at www.lynandtony.com. Our passion for the female form is regularly explored in Australian & International publications, including Nico magazine (Luxembourg), 125 Magazine (London), M-Publication (Frankfurt), Big Magazine (NY), PAP Magazine (Helsinki), X+ magazine (Toyko). We have also been involved in a number of exhibitions and group shows in London (Antipodium gallery), Barcelona (CMYK project), Sydney (Mercedes Australian Fashion Week, feature artist 2004) & Melbourne (Citylights). Most recent solo show, Strangeness, was at the Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne in March 2009. A collaborative book project with the reknown Australian sculptor, Andrew Rogers, was published in 2006. Our work also featured in Sydneyʼs Powerhouse Museum, as part of the major exhibition Sourcing the Muse. Adrian Burke, UK Shot by a Hammer pond in Sussex woodland, where the Landscape has reclaimed the workings from Iron Ore extraction from the 16th Century. Milo Newman, UK The work is a photographic investigation into the fragile coastlines of the British Isles, threatened by Climate Change. The images are poetic, purposefully meditative and deal with themes of fragility and impermanence, suggesting the sense of loss, frailty and change that envelop these landscapes. With this series I was particularly interested in the skeins, which are the formations in which the birds fly and their relationship with the shape of the swells in the sea below them. As they fly these skeins change shape constantly, breaking apart and reforming. They remind me of landscapes, particularly of fading vistas of mountains. The disintegration of these ‘landscape skeins’ serves as a metaphor for me for the landscape beneath them, which is gradually being reclaimed by the North Sea. Joe Johnson, US Joe_Johnson_Artistic_CV Michael Blann, UK Perito Moreno Glacier Regression of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina Prince Thomas, US Liquid Sky, is a photographic series of reflections in water. It attempts to convey the idea of impermanence, metaphorically, through Landscape Photography. In 2005, I became the primary caregiver to both my elderly parents. Through this transition in our lives, I have been keenly aware of the changes that come with the process of aging. I am using this experience to create a body of work that speaks to what I can best describe as the Doctrine of I m p e r m a n e n c e. The Impermanence Doctrine states that all aspects of the world are in a process of constant change. Life embodies change through the process of aging, the cycle of birth and rebirth, and in every loss that we experience. Due to the impermanent nature of all things, having attachments to them is futile and only leads to pain and suffering. Reflections in water, like the landscape, are constantly in flux and never remain the same for very long. I feel that the intangible nature of the landscape and its reflection is my honest and direct response to conveying the idea of impermanence. The series Liquid Sky represents a combination of Digital and Alternative Processes Photography. Unlike my previous projects, in this series I am working from a traditional straight photographic shooting method. The formal content of the images in this series are exactly the same as when I shot them through the camera lens. The final images consist of combining the straight photographs with emulsion transfers of the same image. Prince Varughese Thomas