FIRES OVER WESTERN AFRICA...
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A photograph conveys a split second in time, space and light. It is only momentary. Once taken, that moment has gone. A painted moment is still a moment of sorts but one conjured by the painter. What survives of the moment is the painting - a finite piece of evidence. This series of drawings/prints/maps, as tangible artefacts, offer a snapshot in time wherein the presence of seemingly familiar marks, photographic and hand drawn, suggest that we take a second look. The mapped terrain assumes an alternative persona teetering somewhere between the recognisable and the painterly. Original source material has been grabbed from the online NASA Earth Observatory and adapted. Size, scale and appearance of the original photographs are maintained but the topography is enhanced by texture mapping a modulated polygonal surface in three dimensional computing space. Consequently, contour and relief are accentuated when the final images are rendered. The content of these works draws attention to the increased number of agricultural and wild fires occurring, across parts of Africa. On the original photographs the fires are determined as red pixilated areas. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captures true colour images where red indicates hotspots associated with high surface temperatures. Technological advancement within photography has democratised and significantly augmented the accuracy and availability of mapped information - information that can be acted upon.
In their essence maps tell stories - they can certainly show us where we are and they might be able to tell us where to go.
In a time of collective concern for future human existence on planet Earth, I decided to present this series of images as conventional Tyvec-printed fold-up maps (where the portability and reassurance of a helpful guide might sneakily alert us to the serious implications of hitherto conventional agricultural practices) and as an edition of Fine Art Giclée prints on Hahnemuhle Baryta paper (one of which is exhibited in this year's RA Summer Exhibition).
FIRES OVER AFRICA... MAPS
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A series of 4 prints: collectively titled FIRES OVER AFRICA. The maps come in two formats as print on demand:
Conventional fold-up, travel versions, printed/assembled on Photo Tyvec paper.
Giclée Fine Art archival prints on Hahnemuhle Baryta paper. (unframed)
FIRES OVER AFRICA (Western) Map#1
FIRES OVER AFRICA (Northern) Map#2
FIRES OVER AFRICA (Central) Map#3
FIRES OVER AFRICA (Eastern) Map#4
"People look down on stuff like geography and meteorology, and not only because they’re standing on one and being soaked by the other. They don’t look quite like real science. But geography is only physics slowed down, with a few trees stuck on it, and meteorology is full of excitingly fashionable chaos and complexity. And summer isn’t a time. It’s a place as well. Summer is a moving creature and likes to go south for the winter."