“Earthworks” is an exhibition featuring landscapes photographs by award winning British photographer Karl Dudman, accompanied by mixed media landscape paintings by Lydia Bauman. The Exhibition focuses on a dialogue between the medium of photography and that of painting in conveying qualities unique to landscape from around the world.
The significance of “Earthworks” from the Photographer, Karl Dudman:
Perhaps surprisingly, I tend to think of photography as a somewhat impoverished art form, one that wrenches a moment from its context, and by definition tells incomplete stories. We look to Instagram for gorgeous wildernesses or untouched landscapes, but rarely in shot are the people who live in these apparently empty places, and populate them with their stories and histories. So I’m just as interested in what photos miss as what they manage to evoke, and that is why I often write about the things I photograph, be it elements of history, local politics or my own experience of the places represented. It gives the viewer a chance to engage with the image both as a purely aesthetic or personal experience, and in terms of the subject’s independent life.
This exhibition focuses again on what is hidden from untrained sight, but this time it is the worldwide collapse of environmental systems. Increasingly, climatic and environmental changes are altering the look of the world’s landscapes, but not necessarily in ways one would be able to detect. Many of the images I present in this exhibition tell such stories – from the devastating spread of pine beetle to soil erosion from a millennium of overgrazing – but hidden behind a mask of ‘natural beauty’. With these images I almost want to lure viewers into thoughts of ‘wilderness’ and ‘pristine nature’, just so I can tell them ‘we made this ourselves’. Destruction can be beautiful, so we can’t wait for the earth to turn black before realizing what we stand to lose.
I’ll be exhibiting alongside landscape painter Lydia Bauman whose large and highly textured paintings celebrate the physics of the natural world like no other artist I know, by inviting gravity, fluid dynamics and chemistry to collaborate with her on the panel. That fascination with surface is something I have incorporated into my selections too and that’s part of my trickery; you won’t know if you are seeing a story of environmental decline or a straightforward tribute to earthly forms. And that’s kind of the point.
Earthworks is showing at the Mall Galleries, London in late June, and is in aid of the National Trust Woodland Appeal. You can get in touch or join our mailing list here for more information about online and in-person events happening nearer the time.
Connect with the Artists:
- Karl Dudman Website: http://www.karldudman.com/
- Karl Dudman Instagram: @karmmanuel
- Lydia Bauman Instagram: @lydia_bauman_studio
Images from the “Earthworks” Exhibition
All images displayed with permission from the creators.