Legendary photographer Albert Watson will exhibit his 'first fine art project' - Skye, this week at Hamiltons Gallery, London.
Albert Watson is a photographer best known for his celebrity portraits and fashion photographs. Celebrated worldwide, his work has graced the covers of most major publications including over 100 covers of Vogue! However, it is not Watson's photographs of people that are on show this week, but instead landscape photographs of his native land of Scotland, more specifically the Isle of Skye.
Watson was born and raised in Scotland and frequently visited the Isle of Skye as a child, where he fell in love with the otherworldly landscape. This landscape is the topic of his most recent exhibition, focusing on the landscape of Skye in a way only Watson could. His most personal project to date began in 2013 when he toured the island of Skye, working 12 hours a day for five weeks, inspiring him to create a series of landscape photographs that were far removed from the typical postcard shots. Intentionally choosing to shoot in October and November, Watson wanted to avoid creating images that had already been seen a thousand times, so instead wished for grey skies and poor weather - which he received.
His long day's shooting and hard work paid off, as it has resulted in a series of stunning dramatic landscape photographs of Skye, like none before. The images are moody and surreal and feel as though part of a fantasy scene, much like the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, one of Watson's inspirations throughout this project. Never really wanting to stick to a specific genre or style of photography Watson has worked freely throughout his career, and this is even more evident with his transition into landscape photography.
Behind-the-scenes footage of the creation of the project (or at least part of it), can be seen as an episode on the BBC's What do Artists do all day? A great sneak peek at what goes into creating a fine art project and also a valuable look at Albert Watson's creative process. Similarly to his fashion and portrait work, he makes use of a team while photographing landscapes, with what looks like a PhaseOne camera tethered to a digi tech monitoring the images as they are shot. You can also see that in some images, a distorted lens was used to create unique interpretations of the land around him. This technique adds to the feeling of the images being unique and not of this world.
• Find out more about Albert Watson's creative process of photographing Skye in our interview from his book launch.
Albert Watson's Skye will be on exhibit at Hamiltons Gallery, Mayfair, London from October 7th - 17th, 2023. The exhibition consists of archival pigment prints of jewel-colored landscapes, handmade in the artist's studio along with four oversized black and white UV pigment prints on linen. An exhibition not to be missed, and as a big fan of Albert Watson, I fully intend on traveling across the country for it!
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