Lozhok is a place in Siberia about 60km from the city of Novosibirsk, where I was born.
From 1929 to 1956 there was a Gulag prison camp with a particularly brutal operation. In 27 years more than 30,000 people died there.
After the closure of the camp, the barracks in which the prisoners lived were destroyed. In their place, in the 1970s, a Palace of Culture, sports stadium and a school were built. Underground water sources filled one of the quarries, making it a lake. At its bottom there are tractors and other equipment from the time of the work camp. Another quarry is overgrown by vegetation.
I am interested in revealing the narratives contained within the local landscapes. The land here shows itself to be an agent of change and the field of human endeavour.
Despite the attempts of people, nature, and time to disguise the traces of those terrible events, this place definitely remembers everything.
— Nick Tarasov, Shanghai, China
Working over a twelve-month period in Nottinghamshire, England, we have used high-resolution digital and traditional pinhole photography to explore areas at the interface between natural and synthetic landscape.
The edgelands are a kind of wasteland considered unusable, overlooked, undefined and unattractive. These are neglected, often forgotten areas.
Edgelands, the project, starts to explore what landscape means to us. Land is more than physical landscape and environment. It is unique and has symbolic importance. It has value — perhaps a meaning as significant as its physical embodiment. British landscape and its predominantly manufactured presence affects us physically and emotionally and stimulates us intellectually, even spiritually. Edgelands are landscapes that are connected to human activity both historical and contemporary; tracts of land at the crossing point of the rural and urban.
The underlying theme of the work comes from its engagement with basic human issues of our place in the landscape — how and where we belong.
— Nick Dunmur & Paul Harrison, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Maps are beautiful and fascinating documents of the interaction between man and Nature. They embody our twin instincts to measure the world around us and to represent that world in abstract form, and in both of these they are the products of reality and of the imagination.
I like to explore these themes by imitating the practice of surveyors and mapmakers of old. I go into the landscape with my “mapmaking” tools – a camera and a mirror – to make surveys of my own, taking “readings” by flagging or tracing around natural features with the mirror so that flashes or ghost-like trajectories are recorded in the camera.
My practice gives me an opportunity for expression that contrasts vividly with photography’s mechanical nature, and brings me into alignment with the real mapmaker, whose quiet presence can never be subtracted from the maps he makes.
— Nick Dykes, London, United Kingdom
My practice involves extensive observation and exploratory research of a historical or changing landscape, built environment or interior space. The Liminal Points project is a re-exploration of Penn Wood, Buckinghamshire and a journey back to a vivid childhood fantasy.
The term “liminality” stems from Latin “limen,” meaning boundary or threshold. Concepts of boundaries exist in all aspects of humanity and have been the study of many ethnologists, folklorists and philosophers. In particular, Plato considered the boundary between reality and a heightened reality or altered state of mind.
Working at dawn, dusk and night, blending natural and constructed lighting techniques in conjunction with elements from the landscape, the betwixt, large-scale images lie in a place that is somewhere between realities, as if you have stumbled upon a happening. For the artist it is a raw, solitary experience and a manifestation of contemplations on the wider world. There is a power nature holds when one is left alone with it and something that resonates in all people. Visually inspired by cinema of the late 70’s and early 90’s and writers Katushiro Otomo and J.G. Ballard, the work collaborates with childhood friend Greg Haynes and the influential music of producer Deepsea. These different creative elements form new levels within and around the work.
— Nick Rochowski, London, United Kingdom