DARK AGES, Red Door, Copenhagen, 12 – 13 July 2019
Dark Ages is a solo exhibition showing a series of nocturnal light drawings made on the Danish island of Bornholm alongside further photographic works made in New Zealand, Bulgaria, the UK, and Zanzibar. A parallel series of works combining paint and light drawing will also be on show.
I’ve been asked how these light drawings are created so here is a brief explanation:
‘I first choose a place that I hope will work and as the light drops set up the camera, tripod and remote control. After I have set up the technical side of things I change mode and become more concentrated on the light drawing and the atmosphere of the particular location. I make a few experimental long exposures to see whether anything interesting is happening. I move around with a variety of small portable light sources. The drawing process has a lot in common with making music, and I’d say drumming in particular (note: the artist has played in various bands and avant-garde music groups since the 1990s). There is only one chance in each frame to get it right, although there is no pre-defined idea of what is ‘right’! It’s almost like visual improvising with the environment / landscape. Obviously the final image is a flat print, but the drawing when it is taking place is very physical and I move around to varying degrees and at various tempos within the landscape. For this reason the location needs to allow me to walk / run in the dark without falling over. The more detailed shapes are made with hand movements that can be described as three-dimensional drawings. The environment is very influential, and intuition and experimentation are important every time. Each new location needs to present a new challenge as repetition and predictability within the process results in images that lack dynamism. There is a balance between understanding what is happening and stepping into the unknown. A typical length of time for each exposure is anything between 20 seconds and 2 minutes. Everything takes place within the landscape during this time. All that happens afterwards before printing is a bit of tidying up and cropping of the image.’