Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Headlands II (2009) © Barry Underwood

Barry Underwood has created some astonishing installations with the use of light to accentuate the natural form of trees, rocks and the terrain. Barry gave us a background on the works and how he created them.

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Trace (Pink) (2008) ©Barry Underwood

“The images are documentations of dioramas and full-scale installations that are built on-site in the landscape. Using illusion, imagination, and narrative, my photographs explore the potential of
the ordinary. I approach my photographic work with a theatrical sensibility, much like a cinematographer or set designer would. By reading the landscape and altering the vista through lights and
photographic effects, I transform everyday scenes into unique images. Light and color alter the perception of space, while defamiliarizing common objects. Space collapses, while the lights that I install appear as intrusions and interventions. This combination renders the forms in the landscape abstract. Inspired by cinema, land art, and contemporary painting, the resulting photographs are both surreal and familiar. They suggest a larger narrative, and yet that narrative remains elusive and mystifying. These images emit an eerie, alien beauty, but it is impossible to know if these scenes are the result of some mysterious, natural phenomenon or, instead, the result of some terrible environmental disaster caused by humans.”

“My process begins with drawings. I either have an idea first then look for a landscape, or I make artwork in response to a particular landscape. Sketch the idea gives me time to work through some of the media and logistical issues for the installation.”

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Orange (2007) ©Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Norquay (Yellow) (2007) © Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Fish II (2003) ©Barry Underwood

“For each installations there are actual structures. Rope in the trees, an armature for rigging, C-stands,… And, everything that is used in a photograph is removed with little or no damage to the environment. I usually carry out more things (garbage – bottles, plastic bags…) then I used for the installation. The installation process can take several days.”

“The photographs are made using long exposures; one or more hours. Because they are long exposures, I use film for photographing rather then using a digital camera. Then I have the film scanned. Within Photoshop I try to treat the image in similar to the darkroom process: color balance, dodge/burn, crop… In fact the early work in the series was first printed in the darkroom with no digital process.” – Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Ferns (for Francesca) (2012) ©Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Trace (Blue) (2008) ©Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Bleu (2007) ©Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Miwok Trail (2010) ©Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Wendover (for John) (2011) ©Barry Underwood

Illuminated Landscapes | Barry Underwood

Parade Field (2009) ©Barry Underwood

IMAGE CREDITS: ©Barry Underwood

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