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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

25/07/21 - Aerial Landscapes

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Below I have hand picked a few images from a series of photographs I have been working on whilst in my period of isolation. They come from the 'cleverly' titled series, 'Aerial Landscapes'.

Where has this work come from?

I think it would be best to talk about my love for looking at maps of the world and the places within. I love to look through atlases and the specific regions within the world I have either been to, not been to, or where humanity does and does not reside. There is something that encapsulates my interest when looking over these natural and man-made compositions of nature that I cannot describe. The feeling is almost anti gravitational, as I am free to explore without bounds, without a fixed position, I can just drift between places on the Earth. Maybe there is a romanticism to it, in which, I find adventure as I navigate the landscapes and discover new places, markings, routes and roads. Maybe it's the enjoyment of locating oneself and ones place on this world. Maybe it is the aesthetics of the map itself, the markings of locations or the natural formations created by Earth's ever evolving nature. Whatever it is, I know with confidence that I have a love for perceiving this world and whether that be through the visualisation of documented maps or through my own physical travels, there is nothing more interesting than discovering this planet we call home.

Why aerial photography?

Imagine you are on your way to your chosen holiday destination but to get there you have to travel by aeroplane. You have to board a metal container and take off from a runway in which you will the fly to heights of around 30-40,000 feet (5-7 miles). In reality that does sound a little insane and surreal but flying is just like driving a car, it is the normality if we wish to travel to another country. During this time of travel, if one was to look out of the window, one would be greeted with beautiful clear blue sky and maybe a veil of puffy clouds but what is guaranteed (when not flying over oceans) is that you will see the natural or man-made formation of land below. A network of either natural or non natural movements within the Earth, a constant slow and fast shift of change to the landscape below, an almost hypnotic beauty. To be above and to perceive the world from a new perspective is to remove oneself from the Earth and see how things really are. The question I am asking myself with this work is, am I rediscovering landscape or am I reconfiguring a way to perceive the discovery of land via aesthetics?

The Outcomes

The landscapes are aesthetically hypnotic, they have a variety of movement within them. They come across as abstract formations and almost alien in their unknown visual outcomes. One could perceive these landscapes as dry deserts, ocean floors, polar snow deserts, mountain ranges etc, there is a clear unknown to what these landscapes are. Not having a clear perspective on what they are then questions what part of the Earth are they from? Is there documentation of their existence or/and are we perceiving these parts of the Earth with new a perspective?

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