IN THE GALLERY: Abyssal Figuration

Juan Ford

10 - 27 Nov 2021

In 1938, Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss finished building his mountain getaway, ‘Tvergastein’, following 62 trips up the mountainside carrying building materials on packhorses. Situated at an altitude of 1500m, on the southeastern slope of the mountain Hallingskarvet, he accumulated years of time there, in isolation, pondering.

In 1973, he developed Deep Ecology, the ground-breaking philosophy which considers all matters through an environmental prism first. Næss was alarmed then, and today it is exponentially more difficult to refute his conclusions.

Long inspired by Deep Ecology, I summarise its intent in these works thus: we are not separate from nature. Our follies stem from imagining that we are. I conflate the figure with landscape, the natural, and products of industry so as to say: it is all the same. We are of nature, and so is our every act. If we must consider ourselves divine (for this seems hardwired), then we must return to worshipping nature itself. Consider these to be avatars of a sort, exemplars standing in for me while I strive for Naess-hood.

Installation images by Simon Strong