Dan McCabe- -22.029862, 113.917313 (overlook) from the Joiner series 2017
- acrylic sheeting on Alubond in custom frame
'The Joiner series are semi-abstract landscape compositions, inspired by different places I have visited in Western Australia over the last 4 years. Made from rectangular shaped transparent and opaque acrylic sheets, each individual work is titled with a geographic location, a series of numbers pinpointing the exact location of the place that inspired them.
What prompted the creation of these works was a deep personal concern towards the way in which we, as urban dwellers, engage with nature and the natural landscape through photography/imagery in the 21st Century and how this interaction may be affecting our relationship with the environment more broadly.
In recent years social media platforms have become a tool for promoting or curating an ideal self, and along with this comes carefully composed, idyllic depictions of the places we live in and visit.
My concern is that this constant cycle may be blinding us from the very real environmental change that is happening around the world as a result of our global and urban lifestyle.
Using a selection of highly reflective, rectangular shaped, transparent and opaque acrylic sheeting, each composition is made up of a selection of different colours that are very artificial and highly saturated. I wanted to use these materials in an exhibition about photography because I saw parallels between the portrayal and alteration of landscape imagery on social media platforms, and the pure and synthetic colours, and transparent filter-like qualities of the acrylic sheeting.
When displayed at eye level, the viewer unavoidably becomes the subject, literally seeing themselves in this highly reflective surface. Here, the semi-abstract composition takes on qualities similar to that of a landscape which is out of focus and in the background of a portrait photograph or selfie. Ambiguous, misleading and irrelevant, merely a backdrop for the real focus foregrounded within the image. The philosophical 'reflection' traditionally thought to be offered by the contemplation of nature has now been replaced with a newer seductive digital one, a consequence of an emphasis on the individual in a connected, 24 hour cycle, 21st Century world'. Dan McCabe
© words and images by Dan McCabe