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Earth's End Fine Art

Finistère

‘Earth’s End’, a series of fine art seascapes taken in western France, is an attempt to refresh how we should once again see the world, not through materialism and the conquest of environment – but through illustrating an almost archaic sense of what we once were; a people who lived off the land and sea, who took just enough to eat and sustain, and no more, of a people who formed community by working together and not apart.

01 SILVER AND GOLD

The Curious Temptation of Colour

The light that sweeps across our solar system at 186,000 miles per second and breathes life upon our world, has a temperature beyond its warmth. Those photons bend and scatter in our atmosphere, warming and cooling as they go. Each day, every season, has a colour shift that we perceive, like the smell of cut grass, or the burning of winter wood.

Like your olfactory, open your eyes and your cerebrum will do the rest, it will bless those colours with a billion cross-referenced memories, and spit out an answer. Late afternoon in the autumn, a winter morning, the scattering of light, a prism, the ‘rayon vert’. Silver and gold…

02 SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN

Like Two Slabs of Grey

The sky rests upon the ocean. Some days it feels like a heavy weight, an oppressive force. On other’s, it slides across the surface like ice on a mirror, with an unnoticed lightness. But the sky sets the ocean’s mood. The beauty in documenting it, is in a fine paradoxical sliver. And the paradox is the horizon, because it is here where the sky and ocean meet, it is here we observe that heaviness or lightness.

The meeting of water is entanglement waiting to happen. Gas and liquid have their properties illuminated by photons. Two slabs of grey H2O sandwich a sliver of silver.

A couple of years ago, I upsticked, sold my house in the UK, and bought a new one on the coast of Finistère in western France, and when I can, I head there for a few weeks and indulge my passion in another way. I wanted to understand why the Bretons had such a close affinity with the sea, to examine this thing that seems to determine the way they think, like some new gene, a happy flaw in their D.N.A. And the only way to do that was to photograph the sea, explore the coast, understand the tides and the currents – to stare at the great Atlantic Ocean day after day, through the inclement weather and the fair, through seasons as they unfold, to connect with the monthly lunar cycle. And to photograph it all.

03 THESE RUSHING WAVES

This Constant Renewal

The ocean is an ever-moving thing. Its momentum driven by a billion chaotic correlations that make manifest this thing called ‘constant change’. A mild tropical downpour in the Caribbean Sea will, some weeks later, lap upon a shoreline 5,000 miles away. The pull of the sun on our moon and its consequential tug on the blue planet, will over a billion years, erode granite outcrops back to nothing; a reductive vestigial smoothing.

Each wave is a snowflake, unique and spectacular. If our atmosphere is the planet’s lungs, its waves are resting muscles which occasionally flex.

These images were taken over a three year period, through harsh winter storms and sultry September days.

Photography is a singular, selfish, lonely pursuit. It’s a self-driven endeavor that requires you to energise the moment in front of you – no one else can do that. And never more so than when what you really want is to stay in bed, or get out of the rain. Most days are dog days, (though even they have their special charm) but photography is an exploration, and it forces you by its seductive nature to endure, because you can become witness to the unseen. And that is what makes my clock tick, be it lunar or circadian.

Created By
Martin Middlebrook
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© Martin Middlebrook | All Rights Reserved

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