A couple of weeks ago I went to the Graves Gallery in Sheffield to see the Dan Holdsworth exhibition Mapping the Limits of Space (on from 16/12/2017 – 16/03/2018).
The exhibition features Dan Holdsworth’s newest series of images, Continuous Topography, as well as works from his Spatial Objects (2015) and Blackout (2010) projects
The works from the Continuous Topography series are large format images, created by correlating hundreds of photographs of a landscape (such as the Argentiere glacier in French Alps used in the image below), with GPS data. The manipulation of the data has generated images that convey the power and beauty of geological and hydrological processes and echoing patterns in nature such as flowing water, geomorphology and starling flock murmurations.
Blackout features black and white inverted images of Icelandic mountains. The images present a cold, inhospitable environment, that exudes the same geological power as the images in Continuous Topography.
The three works shown from the Spatial Objects series consist of deep coloured abstract prints on to three-dimensional wedge shaped blocks with a shiny plastic finish. These works have been created based on GIS data from a previous work which have been plotted to generate vectors of colour.
Landscapes, photography, science and technology
The medium used to create each series shown in Mapping the Limits of Space are very different from one another, particularly Spatial Objects. However, there is an explicit continuous context to Holdsworth’s work. Each series continues the artists exploration of the relationship between the photography, science and technology and how this trinity can be used to represent geological landscapes. What I find interesting with this work is the use of different techniques and even scientific data to influence the visual results.
As well as being informed by technology, the images are contextualised within the history and tradition of landscape photography, which has always had the power to draw audiences in. What is interesting about the work of Holdsworth is how it fits in with what is the traditional view of Landscape Photography. As David Chandler writes, in his essay on Holdsworth, Landscape photography is a broad genre which encompasses the work of Ansel Adams to work by more contemporary artists like Andreas Gursky.
In an article with the Yorkshire Post, Holdsworth said that he sees his work as a form of ‘future archaeology' (Yorkshirepost.co.uk, 2018). I find that this is relatable to my work in that it is often accepted that street photography becomes an important historical document with hindsight (Westerbeck and Meyerowitz, 2017). I see my work in some way as Future Archeology, in a different way to Holdsworths work, but still may be relevant to look back on in the future.
Chandler, D. (2018). Dan Holdsworth. [online] Danholdsworth.com. Available at: http://www.danholdsworth.com/texts/danholdsworth/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Danholdsworth.com. (2018). Dan Holdsworth. [online] Available at: http://www.danholdsworth.com [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Dreamideamachine.com. (2018). TRACES:Andreas Gursky. [online] Available at: http://www.dreamideamachine.com/en/?p=9076 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].
Westerbeck, C. and Meyerowitz, J. (2017). Bystander. London: Laurence King Publishing.
Yorkshirepost.co.uk. (2018). Artist Dan Holdsworth talks about his new show in Sheffield. [online] Available at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/what-s-on/arts/artist-dan-holdsworth-talks-about-his-new-show-in-sheffield-1-8896438 [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].