“Detached, in Harmony”: Artist Taking Conceptual Photography to New Heights
Award-winning aerial photographer Brad Walls has released a new series titled ‘Detached, in Harmony’, drawing inspiration from the pandemic, as well as from a renowned 40s fashion photographer. Audiences are invited to experience the first-of-its-kind conceptual art series from above.
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Walls, widely known for his ‘Pools From Above’ series, first set his sights on creating conceptual photography series when he noticed the distinct lack of aerial-based photography in the genre. As he explains, “Conceptual photography is mostly shot on handheld cameras, but I wanted to showcase the value of an alternate viewpoint to convey a meaningful story.”
In creating ‘Detached, in Harmony’, Walls wanted to harness nuance and meticulous attention to detail to mirror the state of the world during the pandemic. Like many, the artist had experienced how distant and repetitive life had become, and placed a keen focus on this element in his work. Through his take on the topic, Walls presents these concepts using repetition, symmetry of figures, and negative space throughout the series – trademark compositing techniques that can be observed throughout Walls’s greater body of work.
Each frame within the series is carefully arranged, placing the model at even lengths and highlighting the shadow cast to highlight our solitude and the lurking darkness of the era. Walls’s choice to have the models posed mid-movement emphasises the uniformity and surrealism of the series. As he explains, “The figures are purposefully static, to symbolise how we have been frozen in time over the past 18 months.”
Walls also draws inspiration from 40s fashion photographer Clifford Coffin’s ‘Models Sitting on Sand Dunes’. Walls’ himself is deeply inspired by coffins, who likewise like himself pushes the boundaries of traditional photography. The artist displays a melancholic sense of loneliness in his series, and balances these emotions with warmer hues, similarly found in Coffins’ work as Walls states “We all belong to something that separates us. It’s a sort of melancholic irony”.
‘Detached, in Harmony’ placed second in the 2021 Fine Art Photography Awards ‘Conceptual’ category, and placed silver in both the prestigious PX3 awards and Moscow Fine Art Awards of 2021. The artist currently plans to exhibit ‘Detached, in Harmony’ in a solo exhibition in 2022.
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