All posts filed under: Landscape

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.


Ori Gersht’s Floating World

The exhibition will debut the London-based Israeli artist’s latest body of work, a series of photographs capturing the ancient gardens in Buddhist Zen temples in and around Kyoto, Japan. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1967, Gersht received a bachelor’s degree in photography, film and video at the University of Westminster, London, and a master’s degree in photography from the Royal College of Art, London. He currently works out of a studio in the city. Gersht’s photography is nominally of landscapes. Yet there’s a personal element to them; his first major series were photographs of the forests in Western Ukraine where his family hid from the Nazis during World War II. Gersh followed the series up with After War (1998), showing Sarajevo at the end of the war in Bosnia; the White Noise series (2000), shot from the train between Krakow and Auschwitz, and more recently Evaders (2009), where Gersht retraces the steps of his muse Walter Benjamin’s journey across the Spanish Pyrenees. In November 2015, Gersht began work on his Floating World series in …


Image © Laurent Kronental

Retrofuturism – imagining a future that never arrived

In December 2005, then would-be Prime Minister David Cameron faced down Tony Blair in the House of Commons by telling him: “You were the future once.” Because it was true, it stung as a criticism and it stuck as a soundbite. But it also contained something deeper – the inescapable truth that, no matter how shiny with promise the future may seem, the lustre will probably fade with time. Both Noritaka Minami and Laurent Kronental are interested in this tarnishing process, and both have undertaken long-term projects documenting buildings that once stood for hope and progress. Minami’s 1972, which has just been published as a book, focuses on the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo’s Shimbashi district. Designed by the Metabolist architect Kisho Kurokawa, it symbolised a future in which design would stimulate social change, based around efficiency and equality. With 140 dwellings arranged between its 13 floors, each home measured just 2.3m x 3.8m x 2.1m, and they came equipped with built-in furniture (including a toothbrush). Minami hadn’t originally intended to shoot the Nakagin tower. …


Connecting the stars, the landscape and our bodies through the image

3 young photographers, 8 American states, 28 days. Celestial Bodies, a new photobook by young artist-photographers Eleanor Hardwick, Rachel Hardwick and Chrissie White, travels through the American West to explore the relationship between our bodies and nature.  “In society and the media, the female body seems to be either hyper-sexualised or shamed, and rarely appreciated for the incredible feat of nature that it really is,” says Rachel. “I think that presenting the female form as somewhat other-worldly and alien, all preconceptions that many of us have linked to the idea of the nude body are stripped away. By looking at it with fresh eyes, within the context of landscapes that almost look as if they could be on another planet, we are able to take a step back and view the world from a new perspective.” London-based sisters Eleanor and Rachel came across Chrissie, based in Seattle, on Flickr years ago, forming a firm kinship around a shared love for photography, exploration and the natural world. The series is rooted in the incredibly varied landscape …


Paul Thulin’s Pine Tree Ballads

In the early 1900s, Paul Thulin’s great-grandfather settled on the coast of Maine because it resembled his homeland of Sweden. Thulin’s family has returned to Gray’s Point each summer for over a century. Runner-up in the Series category at BJP‘s International Photography Awards 2016, Thulin’s photographic sequence resonates, he says, “with a subtext of struggle and hope that mirrors my narrative sense of self and heritage.” We talked to Thulin about the creation of his stunning series: How did you first get into photography? My journey into photography started as a way to rebel against my growing contempt and frustration with the limits of language to effectively communicate. In 1996, I returned  from a stressful year of studying Philosophy in a Master’s program at Syracuse University and I remember wanting to escape into the mountains to possibly join a Zen monastery; I wanted to meditate and remain silent in an effort to really just experience the world. This desire led me to discover the writings and images of photographers Minor White, Frederick Sommer, and Emmet Gowin, …


Portraits of adversity in California’s Central Valley

Stretching deep through the spine of California’s Central Valley is Route 99. Once the primary north-south highway on the West Coast of the US, it has now given way to the much larger Interstate 5. As a result, a string of towns in the 60-mile-wide, 450-mile-long route have been forgotten by the majority of travellers on their way to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Nestled deep in this dust-filled, insufferably hot region are the sites of Katy Grannan’s The Ninety Nine and The Nine. The title of the series of portraits, The Ninety Nine, references Route 99 and the small towns along its reach. The Nine is the title of a series of accompanying large-scale, black-and-white landscape photographs, as well as an upcoming film. This title refers to South 9th Street in the town of Modesto, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the region. It is also the place where many of her subjects reside.     The landscape of the Central Valley is empty, physically expansive and physiologically charged. The valley is …


Hackney At Night

From the hulking corpses of industry to serenely flowing canals to verdant parks, David George’s Hackney By Night captures a timeless, abandoned and eerie urban landscape, unfamiliar even to long-term residents. His photographs are accompanied by a short story by Karen Falconer: cryptic fragments of text that add equal doses of context and mystery. I met David on a rainy winter’s night in the beating heart of Hackney, eager to decipher the thinking behind a most cryptic collection. “Dogs”, he answers. “I have dogs and that means I explore a lot. I discovered that at night Hackney is a different world. What I wanted was to take the reader on a gentle meander through the night, to feel like they’d have a bit of a dream.” These pictures make the urban look bucolic, a vision of the ‘broken pastoral’; landscapes that only exist as a result of industrialisation. What was there before has been destroyed, but what replaces it has its own beauty. “I wanted to emphasise how much water there is in Hackney,” George says. …


How London’s new buildings show how the city is facing terminal decline


Cities are places of constant change. It’s the nature of them, and it’s what makes them attractive. But not all change is equal; change can be organic, but it can be pernicious and abnormal. London has always been a city in flux. But, for anyone living in London, the transformations of the past few years are impossible to ignore. Huge swathes of the city have been redeveloped, remarkable buildings demolished, long-standing communities displaced. This current period of activity is unique, for it is is undoing many of the things that make the city unique. As social housing becomes luxury flats, as their inhabitants are forced out to the suburbs, the inner zones of the city become ever more homogenous, expensive and dull. This issue is what underlies Metropole, a project that aims to visualise the changing skyline of London, to imagine how the city will come to look in the future and, most importantly, seeks to recreate the sensation of feeling lost in a city that was once familiar. It’s a project partly inspired by the city symphony movies of the 1920s, films …


BJP Staff