I thought now was about time to get myself together and organise a website. Upon recommendation I am using a combined site builder and hosting service. It been years since done anything with HTML so to save many confusing hours Im using a WYSIWIG designer which requires no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Through squarespace you pay your moneys and you can knock up a website in a day or two.
At the moment I have a very rudimentary design, which I shall continually update in an effort to improve. So this leads me on to the migration of this blog which can now be found in my new website at http://www.tommatthew.com/blog
TTFN and i hope to see you at my new home. Don’t forget you can still see (slightly) more regular updates of what im shooting over on my flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photom01
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Clearance of the Federal Governments Subterranean Bunker Installation © Christian Wolter
Wolter is a another of these contemporary environmental landscape photographers. His latest book Blühende Landschaften of which Jorg Colberg has reviewed over at conscientious looks at the governments approach to the landscape post unification. Wolter was schooled by Bialobrzewski and this is quite evident in his juxtapositions between the ancient and modern industry – where the ancient is being gradually dismantled.
Yishay traces her mothers journey through the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. She uses text from her mothers recollections with her own photographs to produce a seemingly cold and objective representation of Place. By using a large format camera her approach was slowed down and “Thus the picture came to the camera rather than me forcing a picture on the landscape. The pictures are feedback, and not a result of this process of seeing.”
Marinebad 2005 © Yishay Garbasz
Her approach can at times seem cold and the captioning of the images almost over-simplified. Take for example “This is the road my mother walked during the death march.” This emotional detachment is, however effective with the subject matter being as sensitive as it is. Furthermore, these are the memories are not that of Yishay’s, but her mothers and so it would be impossible to even attempt to recreate the feeling which she would of experianced at the time.
Just came across this guy, Will Steacy, who I can easily describe as Stephen Shore photographing at night. His Down these mean streets projects is particularly nice. He takes a large format field camera down to places between the airport and commercial districts exploring the places inbetween where you wouldnt particularly like to be at night.
I find it interesting that its an almost vernacular style, yet the large format brings a beauty to the subtlty of the place. Whilst the images are not nearly as complex as Shores I feel, they are fasinating in their own right I think. Theres is a fiction I believe the night brings, a surreal ‘subreality’ which cannot be experienced during the day, enhanced at night.
Anyway I urge you in the direction of his website.
Burned Car, Los Angeles, 2009 © Will Steacy
Increasingly there is an arrogance towards nature as we expect it to subordinate to our needs. There no longer seems to be a plot of land untouched and so nature is no longer independent of humankind and instead something we have created. These images divorce the subject from its surroundings, depicting the overlooked as a representation of our domination and domestication of the landscape.
Images are organised into 5 diptychs, each representing our impact and control over the land. ‘Nature’ has been incorporated into the urban landscape and each diptych shows a different aspect of its interlacement. A vernacular style encourages the viewer to look at the often overlooked, considering the significance of the entwinement of nature with the urban landscape.
For the presentation it is important to consider the context of the work and how it is to be recieved by viewers. The vernacular style incorperated within my practise resembles that of William Eggleston. His images were presented in a series of print boxes of small collections of images, eg 14 images. It is here that people flick through prints.
I have decided to do large hand prints, 16″x20″ with a 2″ white border. This is as large as I believe the 35mm negative can be enlarged to without significant loss in sharpness.
Silverprint have a black print box which is smart and very sturdy. Each of my prints will also be in an individual polyester sleeve – also attained from silverprint.
Black Print Box
Ive decided to present my images in a series of 5 diptychs, each of which relating to each other in one way or another;
These two open the series, juxtaposing each other. Irrigation is a subtle signifier of the wastage that passes both under our feet and our attention. It shows that a lot of the control of land is unnoticed, consciously and unconsciously. A patch of grass is no longer something we just walk/play/relax across, but a cover – hiding the wastage of humans.
Functional Landscape brings this control of the landscape above ground, for both funcional and aesthetic reasons. Here people are encouraged to sit and relaxed in a carefully controlled and manicured area of land. This is designed to be used and nature is imported to aesthticise the area in an attempt to quash the banality and brutality of the place.
A couple of strands run through these two images. Straightforwardly enough there is yellow – there is yellow in the hose pipe and in the weed. Secondly if we look deeper, we consider the cultivation of nature. The hosepipe signifies the active encouragement of growth, whilst the fencing signifies the discouragment of said growth. These opposing terms show the active attempts to control nature, with its relative failure in cases.
Leaves tie these images together. The second attempts to induce this notion of the country/nature, leaves are used as a decoration to bridgten up the impersonal, functional and controlling metal fence. Whist in ‘Support’ the concept is a little different. Suggested by the title, Nature is nurtured and protected.
Wires hold these two; controlling, but in different ways. Protection uses wires inconjunction with a manicured hedge to form a boundary. Wires in the second hold together a group of logs, cut down and stored for reasons unbeknownst to myself.
To finish off the series spray pain covers leaves against a daubed, graffitied wall and two rocks pincering a can. Spray paint represents a blatent disregard for nature, and in a similar way with the disregarded detritus.