is currently showing the exhibition Albert Watson: SKYE until 17th November. In honour of his first exhibition with the gallery in over a decade, the artist chose a selection of breath-taking landscapes from his first fine art project shot in the photographers native Scotland.
His most personal project to date began in 2013 when he toured the Isle of Skye, working 12 hours a day for 5 weeks, inspiring him to create a series of other-worldly landscape photographs. Known to him since childhood, the islands dramatic landscapes produced an inescapable magical quality that compelled him to produce a body of extraordinary photographs that he hoped would do more than simply document the landscape. Watson recalls, I was terrified of coming to Skye and producing picture postcards. I wanted to create landscapes that were quite mysterious, I deliberately went in October and November because I was hoping for bad weather and of course I got it. I find blue sky with white fluffy clouds deadly when it comes to creating a powerful landscape and I was looking for wind and rain and mist.'
These moody and surreal images are inspired by Victorian Romanticism, Impressionist painting, and the epic novels by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. An artist who has never settled down to one genre, Watson acknowledges that finding his style to translate into landscape photography is what he loves most. In order to obtain the kind of images he imagined, Watson needed to dominate the landscape and slightly enhance it by using a distorted lens.
The making of this project was filmed by the BBC as part of a series called What Do Artists Do All Day?, which followed the photographer on the island for a week and aired in 2014. The documentary is available to view online.
The exhibition consists of archival pigment prints of jewel-coloured landscapes, hand made in the artists studio along with four oversized black and white UV pigment prints on linen.
Albert Watson OBE (born 1942 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish fashion, celebrity, and fine art photographer. Watsons distinctive style, influenced through his background in graphic design caught the eye of many American and European fashion magazines, and, by the mid 1970s he was one of the worlds most prolific photographers.
He has shot over 100 covers for Vogue, in addition to publishing images in countless publications, from Rolling Stone to TIME Magazine and Harpers Bazaar. Watsons distinctive style would then catch the eye of many American and European fashion magazines. Though blind in one eye since birth, Watson is known for his masterful manipulation of contrasts and delicate compositions. He uses the physical traits of the human body to create formal and sculptural images however interestingly Watsons SKYE series is his first and only major project void of any human presence.
Watson has been awarded many honours, amongst them the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to photography by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 and the Royal Photographic Societys Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship in 2010. He has also published many books and catalogues, notably the acclaimed monographs Cyclops (1994) and Kaos (2017).
Albert Watson: SKYE
October 7th, 2023 - November 17th, 2023
Private View: 12th Oct, 6 8pm