PDN Photo of the Day

The Heath (7 Photos)

The Heath (7 Photos)

 All photos © Andy Sewell

Over the last five years Andy Sewell has spent many hours walking and photographing on London’s Hampstead Heath. Once part of the countryside surrounding the city and now deep within the urban landscape, it is a place of ancient trees, tall grass and thickets dense enough to get lost in – if only briefly. I go to the Heath to be in an environment that feels natural, yet I know this is no pathless wood. The Heath is as managed as any other part of London but managed to feel wild. – Andy Sewell.
The Heath project will be published in Spring 2011 and exhibited at the Host Gallery, London. To find out more about the book click here.

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  1. Well, this set could be titled, “My Walk Today” or “Things I Saw” definitely safe in the genre of minimalist framings that are in danger of being instantly forgettable. There seems to be an attraction to this motif of late. I see it everywhere. I personally am not drawn to it.

    I have taken walks such as those captured above and have come back with similar images, but I find my own images don’t speak to me until years later at which time they become nostalgic. These images won’t have the nostalgic advantage since I didn’t share the walk. But, thanks for sharing with us what you saw.

  2. You might say it’s good to have a bit of balance and that thoughtless photography makes the impassioned work out there that little bit more special. For this reason, maybe it has a place in the art world, but I really wish people wouldn’t say things like this; ‘He [Andy Sewall] was selected by Martin Parr as ‘a photographer likely to make his mark on the future of photography…’ (from his website). As a practicing landscape photographer myself, this is one art form that I refuse to accept will soon hit a dead end – which is how I interpret Martin Parr’s idea of Sewall’s work.

    Thank god we have visionaries and craftsmen like David Ward who understand that the most effective nature photography will always be the kind that evokes our deep emotional and spiritual connection to it. Andy Sewall might say something like “this isn’t about nature”, but artists like this always have ideas bigger than the effectiveness of their images. I see this kind of work as a dangerous evolution of contemporary art photography. Sewall seems to have approached this project with the sensibility of an ‘urban landscape’ photographer, a type of modern artist who tends to concentrate on the mundanity of the man made world and its cold, drab and soulless character. That’s not what the natural world is about (for me) and anybody who has had any real experience of it understands this. He seems to have injected his intellectual ideas into his image making in a way that’s disrespectful and dismissive of his subject matter – which has more depth than he might have the patience to try and understand (or artfully interpret).

    I wish more contemporary photographers had this patience and commitment (which all the great artists have) and at least once in their artistic lives, really lose themselves in one of their many fleeting projects. This is a bored and half interested series of photographs. No matter what ideas these type of artists impart on us, their images always tell the truth. Some of us can see this, unfortunately though, more people can’t (hence this photo of the day entry).

    If the photographer is reading this, I apologise if I’ve offended you, but please be brave and put at least a little of your soul into your image making. It makes Eliot Porter look like a time waster.

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