Impossible Utopia

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16.11 Hove Beach, artwork size: 167 x 120 cm

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17.03 Kingsway, Impossible Utopia

Impossible Utopia

In the summer of 2016, shortly after the Brexit vote 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 2017, I went out on a mission to capture the south coast border in 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. I wanted to fully absorb myself into the subject before creating the new photographs.

Once I found and decided the new scene, I captured it in small sections and in several long exposures photographs. This allowed me to fragment the time and 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 and inquisitive nature. It plays with passage of time, it explores a form of representation that flirts between photography and painting. It depicts beautiful seascapes reach in painterly details and with many untold stories. My aim to offer the viewers a calming canvas for reflection and entice debate on important current contemporary issues.  

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17.05 Madeira Drive, artwork size: 179 x 139 cm

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Image detail 1:1 - Madeira Drive