All posts filed under: Landscape

Mimasu: a visual diary of observations

Karim Skalli understood as a child, when visiting his family in Casablanca, that light is not merely a source of illumination – it’s sensorial, evoking a mood or a feeling when it beams through crevices in curtains and on to objects in the home. One of six children, his mother and father would pile them all into a big red van and travel across continents – through England, France and Spain – to reach Casablanca, the birthplace of his father. “We couldn’t afford to fly because there were just too many of us, so my father would drive: it would take days. There wasn’t much to do on those trips, so I used to stare out the window, looking at all the different landscapes, the different cities, the different people. I was captivated by the soft tones the sun cast as it set. Those trips were my window into the world beyond – almost literally,” says Skalli. Light shapes our relationship with both interior and exterior spaces; for example, it plays a significant role in …


Interview: Stuart Hall’s Giga Project

Stuart Hall first visited the Tar Sands in Fort McMurray, Canada in 2011 and tries to return almost every year since to capture what he terms the Giga-project – the largest industrial project in human history. The process of extracting the bitumen is, according to environmentalists, the world’s most damaging activity. The scale is so enormous that the wound can be seen from space. The oil embedded in the sand lies under 140,000 km2 of forests, equivalent to the size of England. Hall tells BJP how the series was created, and his own pathway into photography.


Remembering the Somme with The Zero Hour Panoramas

One hundred years on from the Battle of the Somme, Jolyon Fenwick took panoramic photographs of the landscape today, before layering them with annotations detailing what happened at each spot. The images were born of two years of research, including using original military maps of the time, first-hand testimony of soldiers who were there and the help of experts in the German defenses. Writing for BJP, Fenwick describes how he created his remarkable testament to a battle that cost 481,842 British citizens their lives.


Troublemakers: How renegade New York artists pioneered land art

Art historian and film director, James Crump, reclines on a plush, crimson sofa, which appropriately compliments s backdrop of a fiery red image of land artist, Robert Smithson’s, Spiral Getty (1970). It is the devilish poster for Crump’s new film Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art. The documentary honours four pioneering figures of the earthworks movement in the 1960s and 70s; Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, Robert Smithson and his wife, Nancy Holt. The group are bound by their desire to make art that surpassed traditional painting and sculpture and their ambition to construct installations that encapsulated both history and modern science. They rejected the containment of the art gallery as an exhibition space, seeking a much larger canvas to work upon. “The phrase Troublemakers comes out of my interview with Germano Celant,” says Crump of the  renowned art historian interviewed in the film. “They were stirring up trouble, they were stirring up things and they were challenging traditional norms. I think the word ‘troublemaker’ is another phrase for taking up a critical position on what’s going …


Wild animals in created sets: “What does it mean to be indigenous?”

“Looking at the work of artist like Stubbs made me interested in the disconnect between animals and their habitat,” Carnegie says, as his work goes on display at the John Martin Gallery in London. George Stubbs’ painting of a Zebra, created in 1763, was based on an animal he saw in a private menagerie, is placed in what looks like a north European woodland. “The painting appears perfectly balanced and correct although the animal is in a habitat with which it is not normally associated,” Carnegie says. “Reflecting on these historical works led to thoughts about native and alien species, and what it means to be indigenous. There is an assumption that where things are, is where they belong, and a belief that native is good and alien is bad,” writes Carnegie. “Sometimes people appear to interpret the terms, native and alien, to suit their own particular prejudices. Somewhere I imagine a voice saying, ‘Surely if it is attractive and there aren’t many of them it must be native?’” All the animals in Carnegie’s series, titled  Long Ago and …


Simen Johan’s matrix of the natural world go on show in New York

Simen Johan was born in 1973 in Kirkenes, the extreme north of Norway, and raised in Sweden. After attending film school at Lugnetskolan in Falun, Sweden, Johan moved to New York City in 1992 to continue his studies at the city’s School of Visual Arts. He now works primarily in New York City, becoming a mainstay of the city’s galleries. It will be the Norwegian photographer’s ninth exhibition at the prestigious Chelsea-based gallery. Johan made his name in the early 90s by merging digital manipulation techniques with traditional darkroom photography practices. Since then, he has been developing a hybrid form of image-making that integrates photographs of animals and landscapes with a “compositional structuring and conceptual intent typically associated with painting.” “In a reality where understanding is never total, I depict ‘living’ as an emotion-driven experience, engulfed in uncertainty, desire and illusion,” Johan writes of his work. Writing for National Geographic, Sarah Leen said Simen’s work “expresses, in a very personal way, ideas about habitat, climate change, critical species, and man’s impact on nature.” Photographing in a wide range of locations, Johan’s images …


Massimo Vitali’s beach scenes return to London: “Sexual innuendo and rigid conformism”

Massimo Vitali’s Beach Series – large-scale photographs of busy, crowded beach-scapes near his home in Lucca, Italy – are often captured from a distance “to convey the voyeuristic possibilities of photography.” Originally a photojournalist before taking a more conceptual approach with his work, Vitali began the series in 1995, inspired by “drastic political changes in Italy” that “sparked a curiosity to observe his fellow Italians.” This exhibition showcases later works from Vitali’s ongoing work on the subject, the images taken from 2011 to 2014. Born in 1944, in Como, Italy, Vitali studied Photography at the London College of Printing in 1964 before going on to work as a photojournalist on commission, and as a cinematographer in both advertising and fiction films. In 1993 he started working with large format photography. Vitali revealed “the inner conditions and disturbances of normality: its cosmetic fakery, sexual innuendo, commodified leisure, deluded sense of affluence, and rigid conformism”, says art historian Whitney Davis. Vitali expanded the series to photograph pools, ski resorts, discotheques and tourist sites around the world, exploring “the detached nature of human …


John Brockliss celebrates sea at North Contemporary Fine Art Brighton

The collective images John has assembled for his latest exhibition, at the Brighton gallery North Contemporary Fine Art, as well as a photobook, titled Restless. Leica M (Typ 240) with Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH, 1/350 sec, ISO 200 His images, many of which are taken at sea or in the face of storms, are a personal exploration of the unique sense of space, power and light of Britain’s coastlines. Born in 1950, John is a UK photographer specialising in maritime, documentary and reportage photography. Leica M9 with Leitz Summicron M 50mm f/2, 1/3,000 sec, ISO 160, f/5.6 After studying photography, fine art and graphic design, he graduated as a graphic designer in 1972, commissioned and art directed photographers throughout his design career John now work exclusively with Leica rangefinder cameras and the light available to him at the time. The exhibition runs until April 16th. Find them at 35 North Contemporary Fine Art, 35 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YB. The gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday 11 – 5.30pm.


BJP Staff