Nature is one of the largest forms of inspiration for artists with its all-encompassing existence. With rapid modernisation and industrialisation, nature often bears the cost of progress. Photography has the ability to immortalise the beauty of nature, and it even has the power to tell a story of its biological complexity. Some photographers seek to capture natural landscapes before they disappear; and others use their photographic technique to bring out the minute details of nature's flora. Regardless of purpose, their passion for nature shines through in their exquisite photographs.
This week, The Artling looks at the beauty of nature through the lenses of 10 British Photographers.
Claire Newman-Williams is a British photographic artist. Whether crafting mixed media collages or photographic prints, Claire creates images that appear to have been pulled from the no man's land that exists between imagination and reality. 'Eulerian Circles' is often described as “filmic” and “haunting”, leave us wondering which world they inhabit.
"These trees are a perfect visual metaphor for the new world we all find ourselves in. Presence and absence."
Using a mixture of historical processes, analog and digital cameras, her inspiration comes from sources as diverse as the etchings of Rembrandt, the films of modern cinematic masters like David Lynch, or the loneliness of the music of Lucinda Williams
Starting from the idea of beauty in Wabi-sabi defined as imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, Alessandra D'Innella used fallen leaves as an ephemeral subject in 'Fallen from Paradise'. She then used spray cans to add colour and emphasise the shapes and three-dimensional qualities of the leaves, isolated from their usual context. The colour of the blue background represents the sky, stemming from her imagination of falling leaves from the sky. Eventually, Alessandra photographs them; they stand as if they were sculptures, showing the beauty of imperfections and their fragility.
"My practice explores how notions of cultural identity and memories, and cultural influence can be visually translated into a work of art that echoes a place or a visual aesthetic, triggering imagination, desire, and escapism."
'Kew Gardens_21-03-0152' is part of a bigger body of work inspired by "Group f64's", more specifically by Edward Weston's work from the early 1930s. Michael Frank's tool of choice to photograph nature's flora and fauna is a Hasselblad medium format camera and a 39-megapixel Digital Back. This London-based photographer has over 30 years of studio and location experience as a commercial photographer. After many years of freelance corporate, advertising, and portrait work, he furthered his academic study with a Master's in “Photography & Urban Cultures” at Goldsmiths University of London, which he successfully finished in 2012.
'Alive and Kicking' is part of a series of cyanotypes that Tessa Shaw created during the lockdown in the Somerset. She retreated to her studio and spent the months walking and making art. Being in nature has helped her stay sane in this chaotic time, and she aims to evoke a meditative and ethereal mood through her photographs.
"The Japanese principle of wabi-sabi is an important philosophy to me - the acceptance that nothing is perfect and that the world is transient. I appreciate the integrity of natural objects, and I value modesty and simplicity."
'So Near, So Far 3.' by London-based artist Petr Strnad is an digital photograph of an abstraction of nature. Petr worked for many years as a photographer for a variety newspapers and magazines, and proceeded to work as an abstract painter, photographer, mixed media artist, and graphic designer.
'Lily Unfurled' is a photographic print of a lily in full bloom is made using archival pigment inks and archival fine-art paper. Paul Coghlin was born in London in 1967, and is currently based in Suffolk in eastern England.
“Throughout all of my projects, I’ve worked to capture not just a subject’s form, but also a visual and perhaps painterly representation of the fleeting emotion I felt at the time the images were captured; encouraging the viewer to experience at least part of that same intangible sensation when they study my work”
In Paul's photography, he seeks to look beyond the obvious; to photographically capture detail, shape, and pattern hidden in plain sight; and to explore its symmetry, light, and texture. His images often feature and are inspired by the natural world, which he feels a strong connection to. This stems from spending much of his childhood in the New Forest region of southern England.
Ali Shokri has always had a great fascination with nature that began during his childhood. He translates this fascination through his black and white photographs and in the 'The passion of trees'. He purchased his first digital camera and thus began a new chapter in his life. Upon leaving university in the middle of an IT and engineering course, he poured his soul into fulfilling his passion for photography and has since capturing the natural scenes that surround him.
Vikram Kushwah strives to draw viewers into fantasy worlds through his whimsical photographs. He completed his post-graduate diploma in photography at London College of Communication, and his Master's at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester. Vikram's whimsical take on nature is inspired by photographers such as Guy Bourdin, Tim Walker and Deborah Turbeville, as well as the work of the Surrealists, the Romantics, and the Pre-Raphaelites.
Andrew Lever is a National Geographic Award winning Travel and Fine Art photographer whose work has been displayed in London and the Auckland Museum in New Zealand. His former career as an international model planted a seed in him for travel which carries on through to this day. Andrew is serial globetrotter with an insatiable appetite for creating fresh and exciting imagery. Andrew’s love for the outdoors comes through in all of his photographs, especially so in the golden waters of 'WATERWORLD 14.'.
British-Chinese artist Yan Wang Preston has a deep interest in the contested conditions of nature in contemporary societies. The winter landscape of 'Yuan - A Hand-Drawn, Red Circle' was captured on the Tibetan Plateau at 5,340 metres above sea-level. Yan Wang made a red circle on the frozen headwater of the Yangtze River, which sits in front of the backdrop of the Gangjiaquba Glacier on the eastern face of Mount Geladaindong. This photograph arose from her concerns of the environmental and cultural implications of China's rapid changes. On a personal level, Yan Wang sought to pay tribute to her Chinese culture and its natural beauty.
The beauty of nature can be interpreted and photographed in numerous ways. For these 10 British photographers, their inspiration, passion, and purpose have driven them to capture nature's essence and immortalise its beauty in their photographs.
Check out more of our wide selection of photography works here. To browse more of our curated art collection, click here. If you need additional guidance or have specific requirements, you can have a look at our art consultancy services, or chat with our expert curators on any page.
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