Man & Nature

Perhaps one of the most popular themes in eighteenth and nineteenth century art, man and nature are so tightly linked it made sense to bring that theme into photography.

The Trinity of God, Man and Nature was central to the nineteenth-century universe. Nature itself was illuminated by another trinity: art, science, and religion.

Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875

This book has inspired me to produce another shoot at the factory featured in the previous post. After getting a good way through the first half of the book I began looking at the landscape differently. Instead of seeing a smoking chimney I would see labour and hard-work, I saw the sky now has not only a tool for composition but as nature itself. In America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century this was a common perception of the sky and nature. The people saw nature as God’s creation and that it couldn’t be purer. I have included this theme by keeping the sky in my photographs as clean as possible, this combined with the intrusive and heavy buildings encroaching into the sky show a fear that Christian american’s had at that time on the cusp of the industrial revolution, these thoughts were echoed in England by William Blake.

And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

This became an important reference point for me, I found myself photographing in a different way, I would look for symbols in the landscape to structure my photographs, the book also talked about three artists in particular that were driving forces behind the use of the sublime within nature and showing it to the people. My work isn’t about the sublime in nature, it is about the sublime in industry. In the next post I will include some images from shoot two and talk about them in-depth,


Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875
Written By: Novak, Barbara
Published By: Oxford University Press USA
Published In: 2007
MIL EAN/ISBN: 9786611163143

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