Monday 2nd October – Saturday 7th October 2006
OPENING HOURS: Mon,Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat, 12 - 6 pm. Thu, 2 – 8 pm
“Landscape has always been associated with beauty. In a society which utilises more and more of the planet, we must look again at the landscape around us. With a little lateral thinking, it's surprising how beautiful our industrialised land is.”
This exhibition by photographer Mark Watts looks at the notions of landscape in two very different ways. With a background in sculptural design and fine art, and a fascination with the transcendental sublime experience, Watts asks the audience to re-examine both photography and landscape via two similar, but different, bodies of work; ‘Untitled' and ‘Imprints'.
The ‘Untitled' series originates from a curiosity about the photographic medium, exploring the boundaries and conventions of image making. Watts views photography as a no-fixed medium, existing within an active and overlapping dialogue with various other media.
The series also addresses the notions of landscape; its constituents and limitations.
These untitled works are inspired by eighteenth century philosophical texts on the sublime, and also the work of the great landscape painters of Europe and America . The series explores the same challenging questions first posed by the philosophers and painters of that era – but this time in a thoroughly modern context.
The ‘Imprints' series contests the notion of the idyllic landscape. It also seeks to re-classify the very term ‘landscape'. The dialogue within the series centres round the use of land and space and the subsequent impression left by society. The series is not concerned, however, with society's detrimental effects on our landscape, but seeks to examine the evolution of space, questioning whether industrialised earth can still retain a pure essence of beauty. ‘Imprints' earned Watts a short-listing for the 2003 Jerwood Awards.
This will be Watts' second major UK exhibition showcasing his “thought provoking, romantic and almost nostalgic” works.