Sunday, 23 February 2014


at the WHITE CUBE, BERMONDSEY until April 13th

Fullmoon@Cape Verde 2013 © Darren Almond
Courtesy White Cube
I first saw Darren Almond's work in 2001 when his Night as Day exhibition at Tate Britain captured and intensified time  in a way I'd never experienced before. He was responding to places in the Chamonix landscape immortalised by J M W Turner, and to other iconic sites chosen by John Constable and Paul Cezanne These artists rendered what they saw moment by moment as they were painting. Time was an actual lived experience. Almond on the other hand shoots colour photographs during full moon using long exposures. Each single frame of exposure  allows the experience of time to be captured and intensified. The result is a world previously unseen by the human eye - a world of night made light. Almond's photographs capture and intensify time

In 2005 Almond wrote that his 'photographs are intentionally concerned with memory and chance, with mobilising light and time'. He goes on to say that 'the choice of locations -  zones outside the  urban, untouched by artificial lighting - continue the legacy of Romantic paintings'.
Laurentia 2012 Cast bronze and paint © Darren Almond
Photo: Jack Hems Courtesy White Cube
His new works at the White Cube Bermondsey- the Fullmoon and Present Form series - have taken Almond to every continent over the past 13 years. In Patagonia, Tasmania, Cape Verde and the Outer Hebrides Almond explores time, geology, myth and history. Here in Cape Verde (geographically speaking a comparatively young upstart) rough black stones emerge from a heavenly blue Atlantic Ocean. The rocks are solidified larva and bear evidence of their own formation. What has been described as a 'seemingly diabolic landscape' is also beautiful and arresting, mysterious and eerily empty.

The photographs are complemented by words on the wall of the corridor outside the galleries. Suddenly the viewer/reader is placed centre stage 'somewhere between the fire of the rock and the fire of the sun' by sparse, simple words of great beauty. It feels a privilege to be there.

P.S. Laurentia is the name of an ancient continent incorporating much of what is now North America and Greenland.

FULL MOON by Darren Almond will be published by Taschen in March.


No comments:

Post a Comment