Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

A Study in Fluid Motion

34" x 45"

This series was born on the coast of Spain while I was shooting landscapes along the cliffs that border the Northern Atlantic. Looking out over the ocean, I watched as vast, muscular banks of clouds gathered and dissolved. Fascinated by this elemental, fluid spectacle, I shot some pictures that captivated me when I reviewed them at day's end. Water droplets and ice crystals suspended above the ocean created a landless horizon a constant flux and motion. The tension resulting from the attempt to capture the ephemeral movements of a single element in radically different forms spoke to something larger. These cloudscapes projected the silent power, menace and misleading sense of stillness so often associated with the deep bodies of water that feed them.

I was inspired to seek out geographic spaces that marked the threshold of land and sea so that I might explore the interplay that creates these massive, delicate spectacles. I wanted to invite viewers, through my lens, to witness the beauty of these cloudscapes: the peacefulness, the power, the sense of isolation and awareness brought on by an impending storm viewed at a distance. This was not without it's hazards--I traveled to remote coastal locations in Spain, Ireland, Newfoundland and California only to be met, on occasion, with horrifically sunny days. At other times, huge and haunting skies proved too great a distraction. One might ignore a subtle shift in the oceanic currents and nearly be blown off a cliff. The elements seemed to relish the opportunity to illustrate the folly of trying to capture them. 

The result of this undertaking are displayed here. I am proud to share them. They are an exploration of the relationship between elements intimately linked together in a state of constant change. This is a fluid world, that viewed carefully, reminds us that, despite their immense power and beauty, despite their inky black edges of disquiet, these cloudscapes are fragile constructions. As much a part of our landlocked existence as the water that creates them is a part of our bodies.

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Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Bodego Bay

California USA

34" x 45"

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Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Cabo Finnisterre

Galicia Spain

34" x 45"

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Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Cape Spear

Newfoundland Canada  

34" x 45"

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Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Pt. Reyes #1

California USA  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

PT. Reyes #2

California USA

34" x 45"

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Graham French - Cloudscapes - A Study in Fluid Motion

Ring of Kerry

Co. Kerry Ireland  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Bank Towers

Photography  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

A Study of the Vertical City

Photography  

34" x 45"

The Reflections series was born in the crush of rush hour traffic. I looked up at the jutting towers of glass and steel and found a world refracted within itself. Light cast startling reflections distorted on each surface. In the heart of the city, I found an improbable echo of my cloudscapes, a strangely fluid and elemental spectacle. I had to shoot it.

The tension between the rigid steel structures impaled by the liquidity of the bent waves of light produced a foreboding sense of instability that the slick mirrored surfaces seek to deny. The faceless facades contained motion and temporality--glass, after all, is liquid and these images only existed for a brief moment in time. As with water, in it's various states producing cloudscapes over the ocean, these urban objects became events.

Our earliest mirrors were pools of dark, still water. These buildings, made of objects designed to reflect light, suggest the quiet, menacing power beneath the misleading still surface of water. these mirrors filter and alter light. I placed the camera in a position to capture what is lost and found in  the altered reflections.

The distortions also bring to mind the glass of the lens. I am interested in asking the viewers of this series to examine the power dynamics at play: who's behind the glass, who's behind the lens, what can be seen in the reflection?

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Black Tower 8848

Photography  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Black Tower 8877

Photography  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Tower in Tower

Photography  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Windows Abstract  8801

Photography  

34" x 45"

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Graham French - Reflections - A Study of the Vertical City

Windows Abstract 9023

Photography  

34" x 45"