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Island Drift – NVA, James Johnson & Alan McAteer


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Street Level Photoworks
14th Nov 2015 - 24th Jan 2016

Island Drift is an immersive photographic installation, created in partnership with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park for the Year of Natural Scotland 2013. During an eight month programme of creative interventions at Loch Lomond, designer James Johnson and photographer Alan McAteer worked with NVA’s creative director Angus Farquhar and park rangers to manipulate moving and static light sources on land and water. Multiple camera positions were used to achieve a powerful series of digital images articulating the Highland boundary fault line.

This gallery-based exhibition is a significant departure from the status quo for NVA. The public art charity’s creative practice, developed over 25 years, involves performance or installation, often outdoors and on a large-scale, with the public moving through a chosen location to witness and complete each production. The photographic documentation of the work always has its own integrity and value. The visual photographic and film record created from the internationally touring production Speed of Light has equalled and expanded the impact of the ‘live’ action, with Mark Huskisson’s animated film of Ghost Peloton winning 2 international awards. With Island Drift however, for the first time performing in the landscape is not the main intention. Instead the manipulation of light and movement over large physical spaces existed purely to feed the creation of a photographic artwork.

This Street Level Photoworks exhibition allows a series of stunning light box images to form a quadriptych that together create multiple perspectives onto the topography of the region. The temporary use of introduced light combined with the ability of McAteer to capture subtle moments of shift within natural light formations form a powerful compositional structure and texture to the images.

Earlier in the year, Street Level Photoworks were commissioned by NVA to deliver the Island Drift engagement programme, involving primary schools from the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs area in some of the creative photography techniques. Pupils took part in sessions that explored manual camera techniques, panoramas and painting with light with an exhibition of the pupils’ works taking place at Cashel Native Forest Centre in May. The pupils created stunning photography of their local area resulting in a diverse collection of images, from considered studies of nature, to sweeping, swirling and imagined landscapes and abstract reconstructions of reality.

More information about the project available via NVA's website .


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