Darren Almond (1971 – )
Darren Almond was born in Wigan and studied at Winchester School of Art. He is renowned for his evocative photography, films, sculptures and installations which manifest his singular exploration of time and atmosphere. His photography in particular refers to a meditative portrayal of landscape. His solo exhibition Darren Almond: Night as Day at the Tate in 2001 consisted of long exposure photographs taken at night. The result is an arresting portrayal of nature: the long exposure lens giving the photographs a particular clarity and colour, with only the uncanny quietness and the atmosphere giving away the fact that they were actually taken at night. Seen in the context of romantic landscapes and the work of William J.M. Turner, Almond encourages the viewer to reflect on their sense of place within nature, and their perception of space. The idea of the journey is also important in Almond’s work. In 2003, his film If I had you, installed at the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi explores amongst other things the particular atmosphere of Blackpool Dance Halls, symbols of a bygone era in the north-west of England.
Darren Almond: 11 Miles from Safety, White Cube, London 2003
Hamza Walker and Martin Herbert, Darren Almond, Kunsthalle Zurich, 2001
Peter Wollen, Darren Almond: Night as Day, Tate Publishing, London 2001
Sensation. Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1999
A transparent, flexible plastic material, usually of cellulose acetate or polyester, on which light-sensitive emulsion is coated, or on which an image can be formed by various transfer processes.
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.