Since 1996, the English artist-photographer Dan Holdsworth has explored the “extreme” territories that characterize humans’ changing relationship to the ‘natural’ world in the Anthropocene.
Since 2012, the artist has worked alongside academic geologists to map the exact contours of Alpine glaciers and rock formations by using drones, lasers, photography, and high-end software ordinarily employed by the military and climate scientists. And the result is the series Continuous Topography, consisting of images created from millions of points marked in space, each a millimetre-perfect registration of the precise contours of a rapidly changing landscape (in this instance, the Alps).
Continuous Topography creates an image of what Holdsworth calls a “future archaeology”. What we encounter are not only three-dimensional maps of places characterised by extraordinary natural beauty but historical records: records that document the very shape of the world that we have to lose.
The exhibition reveals the first moving-image works the artist has created, and that’s after working for 20 years with large-format analogue cameras.
These works offer a kind of hallucinatory realism that the pre-Raphaelites could only dream of, in the campaign to create an art characterised by its truth-to-nature, and a fidelity to recording the organic world in its every detail.
The exhibition will be on display at Northern Gallery For Contemporary Art, Sunderland from Friday 26th October 2018 until Sunday 6th January 2019.
For further information, head to northerngalleryforcontemporaryart.co.uk.