Impossible Utopia

16.11.fullmoon-1000.jpg

16.11 Hove Beach, artwork size: 167 x 120 cm

17.03.Moonscape-1000.jpg

17.03 Kingsway, Impossible Utopia

Impossible Utopia

In the summer of 2016, a few days after the Brexit referendum result was announced, I decided to create a new body of work exploring the UK south east border.

My intention was to use the moonlight, the stars and the sea that separates Great Britain from the rest of Europe to create large scale artworks that would provoke debate on contemporary issues such is migration and the implications of the Brexit vote on all Europeans (including myself and family) living in the UK.

The project was my way to try to process and convert something (in my views) negative into a positive photographic experiment. In historical terms, our ancestors used the stars and moon as navigation tools to guide them through the night on their long voyages. My own grandparents crossed the Atlantic in old style ships over 100 years ago, from Germany & Austria to South America, looking for a new life.

In the full moon nights between the summer of 2016 and 2019, I went out on a mission to capture the UK south coast border in painterly detail, under the moon & stars. As I drove through the nights searching for new locations, I listened to the confusing BBC 4 radio debates about the plans or lack of them in the Brexit negotiations. What it meant and the possible consequences. I wanted to fully absorb myself into the subject before creating the new photographs.

Once I found the right location and decided the new scene, I captured it in several small sections (fragments) that I would later join together to make one large image. So, each seascape was captured in several long exposure photographs taken continuously (one after the other) in a pace of time that averaged about one hour and 30 minutes per scene. This allowed me to slow down, to reflect, to adjust my focus in the dark, to fragment the time and to slowly absorb the landscape in a meditative kind of exercise. I wanted to create large scale representations of the border that recorded and evoked more than a single photograph. A impossible representations in fact.

The project has a poetical, methodical and inquisitive nature. It plays with a fragmnented passage of time, it explores a form of representation that flirts between photography and painting. It depicts beautiful seascapes reach in color and painterly details; surreal oceanic scenes that could hold thousands memories and untold stories. My aim to offer the viewers a calming canvas for reflection and entice debate on important current contemporary issues such as migration, borders, identity, nationalism and freedom. 

17.05-madeira-drive-1000.jpg

17.05 Madeira Drive, artwork size: 179 x 139 cm

detail-17.05-Madeira Drive-900.jpg

Image detail 1:1 - Madeira Drive