Through my research via GroundWork gallery, I discovered the work of Gina Glover.
Her website description is as follows:
Gina trained in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art and in Photography at the University of Westminster. She co-founded Photo Co-Op in 1979 in Wandsworth, which in 1991 became Photofusion Photography Centre, based in Brixton.
Gina is recipient of the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal, the Medical Research Council’s Visions of Science Award (twice) and funding from Arts Council England (on three occasions.) She has been interviewed for the British Library SOUNDS archive and in 2016 received Wellcome Foundation funding for her project Life In Glass, using the scientific IVF photography of the Nobel Prize winning biologist Sir Robert Edwards.
Glover’s work ranges from playful explorations of the biomedical sciences, usually as an artist-in-residence, psychological studies of human perception, and long-term studies of environments altered by human conflict and economic development. She employs varied photographic techniques from lensless photography, to conventional and alternative processing, through to photography incorporating digital design.
Much of her work has a timeless appeal; it is not necessarily confrontational in content but it does tell a powerful story in context.
I am particularly drawn to her latest work, My Anthropocene. The imposing imagery is all the more so for its lack of human presence, yet it is inextricably there in the buildings and machinery on show.
“My photographs investigate the Anthropocene, or rather, My Anthropocene, since it is investigation by me about the world in which I live and move through” she states in the project info, adding that “The word [Anthropocene] was coined in 2000 by atmospheric scientists to indicate the overwhelming changes brought about by humans over the last 200 years and especially in the last 70 years. The landscapes I investigate – the Arctic Circle, the USA and Europe – are places where human activity is pressing against ecological boundaries. If the Anthropocene is new, planet-scale concept, its precise form varies from place to place”.
Although not part of my MA project, when I photograph landscapes it is often in this same vein. I feel a strange pull to record place and time without human life on show – there is an unexplainable desire to provide an aura of the world devoid of humans but before nature reclaims what we have built.
But my Harena Now work aims to connect people back to the earth, not in a romanticised manner but through consideration of the impact we can have; the butterfly effect we can cause with one decision, one touch, one movement.
Although very different in style to Glover’s, both seek to inform. The underlying reasons for creating work that represents the ebb and flow of our impact on the world we inhabit encourages the contemplation of how my work will be viewed with a much less explicit content.
My current imagery is concentrating on creating capsules of galaxies made from sand and water and light – such essential elements in the creation of the earth and our lives today. Lose any and we lose ourselves.
In Where We Belong, a book of essays by Paul Shepard he touches on how people choose to interact with nature, often cosseted from actually interacting with it.
He writes, “We do not touch the burning sand” (Shepard 2003:158) – I hope my work will make those who view it begin to feel the burning sand beneath their feet once more. That it imbues a sense of joy at being alive and a desire to look closer at environmental stories.
Gina Glover. Available at: http://www.ginaglover.com/ [accessed November 12, 2017]
Shepard, Paul. 2003. Where We Belong. Athens, Georgia. University of Georgia Press.