Like a sunken war fleet from the past surrounded by dense British fog is how the historical ships emerge in romantic photos in 'Voyages', the new project by Anderson & Low. The large-format photos can now be seen in the Londoner Science Museum: “These images, are a radical reinterpretation of the Science Museum’s historical collection of model ships, and depict previously-hidden dramas and epic voyages for these tiny vessels. The resultant prints are truly romantic and painterly. The project represents Anderson & Low’s continuing interest in exploring the boundaries between fantasy and artifice versus reality, and between photography and the other visual arts.”
Jonathan Anderson & Edwin Low present you the idea for the unusual project on Gosee: “We are perhaps a little unusual in that (as you will see from our website) we often employ stylistic shifts between different projects. This is simply done as we always search for the way to make a project or image say "more", working and reworking our ideas and presentations in order to achieve this. But the themes that underpin the different art projects are often the same: We look at fantasy and artifice versus reality (Manga Dreams, Spectre & Voyages), and we like to challenge the viewer's perception of the image. Sometimes (as for our projects Chrysalis, Manga Dreams & Voyages) this results in a shift that makes the result not look like a photograph at all – that's not our intention, but sometimes it is an inevitable consequence of our search for the best visual expression for an idea. So we sometimes end up stretching the boundaries of what a photograph is "supposed to do". We also have an interest in the presentation of the mythic (Athlete/Warrior, Gymnasts & Voyages). All of these themes have come together in Voyages.
We were visiting the gargantuan storage facility for the Science Museum, and we saw its huge collection of model ships – all in storage, in crates, with opaque plastic on the sides and ends of the crates. As we looked, we realized that the plastic removed all sense of scale and size and that these models resembled real boats and ships. Furthermore, the plastic acted like a lens to focus on the inner souls of the models – they were all on mythic quests and heroic, epic voyages. They all had these inner, passionate dramas, waiting to be discovered and set free. We were simply the ones who set these boats free to roam the seas and give expression to these inner lives.
These inner passions were there all along, simply waiting to be discovered. It is just as Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. And as WB Yates said, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
Accompanying the project is also a Buch
VOYAGES by Anderson & Low
14 March – 25 June 2017
Media Space, 2nd Floor, Science Museum
Exhibition Rd, London, SW7 2DD
Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have been collaborating as “Anderson & Low” since 1990. Their work includes portraiture, architectural studies, abstract images, reportage, nudes, and landscape and is noted for attention to concept, form, lighting, and printing. Their work is exhibited worldwide, residing in many public and private collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, National Portrait Galleries of both the UK and Australia, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, High Museum of Art, Baltimore Art Museum, Atlanta, National Gallery of Australia, Akron Museum, The National Gallery of Australia, the US Olympic Center, the Southeast Photography Museum, Florida, and Museet Fotokunst, Denmark.