Dalziel + Scullion

After looking at my video’s of the tide changing my tutor told me to look at the work of Dalziel and Scullion.  I feel quite blown away, it is hard to explain when the beauty and wildness of nature in their works is beyond words.

They have a text on the home page of their website which explains the motivation and thinking behind their work

Our work explores mankind’s relationship with nature and how we interact with the ecology of the earth. It is widely agreed that mankind is at a critical point in our collective history where our philosophical, political and economic drivers have taken us to a point of ecological and humanitarian crisis.We believe that new ideas and ways of living will be born out of revolutionary attitudes towards nature and that like the Copernican revolution when the earth was revealed not to be at the entre of our universe, we need to awaken to the fact that the earth does not revolve around mankind.We are under the gaze of the deer, the hawk, the wolf and the storm – yet our co-existence as equal entities reliant and bound to everything else seems a long way off in our social and philosophical development. Our work strives to challenge existing attitudes towards nature and reawaken audiences to a wider ecology that encompasses both the abundance and limitations of the earth’s bounty.

I have always felt that when I photograph or film scenes that are just there in nature, that I cannot consider them my ‘work’, it would like claiming credit for the beauty of nature, when all I have done is turn on my camera.  And yet I know how profoundly I am affected when my eyes and mind are open and I am immersed in the beauty of nature.  And this can be anywhere, in the city or out in wildness of the Highlands, or elsewhere, below the surface or up at 37000 feet.

I need to revisit my attitude..and actually I am reminded of Lewis Hyde’s book titled The Gift I read last year, about the nature of creativity.  The artistic ego just seems to get in the way.


2 thoughts on “Dalziel + Scullion

  1. Really interesting thoughts! But:
    Isn’t the point that you’re not just “turning on your camera”? If that’s all it was, we could all make images like Ansel Adams or Bruce Percy – but we clearly can’t.
    Nature presents itself, as it were, but we choose how to see it and that determines what we create in terms of art. For example:
    – large, medium, small format camera changes perspectives etc.
    – wide angle/normal/telephoto lens determines the framing etc.
    – we compose differently (for example, include that tree/rock/hill etc., or not)
    – shoot slow or fast (aperture, shutter speed question)
    – and so on.
    There is no such thing as ‘just’ nature. We create it, even without a camera. Yes, there is a hill there etc., but how we understand it to be a hill is surely what makes it art?
    Incidentally, I think this is the case whether a camera is used or not. If I stand next to you and we both look at the same hill, we’ll see it differently. We construct nature – everything is constructed. And it’s only beautiful because we say it is (as your link to the mountains question in another blog post suggests).
    Stimulating thoughts you’ve initiated here!

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