26/06/2013

#2 The Cornerhouse, Manchester

Botanical Gardens, Glasgow

Adam Heiss & Martene Rourke 'Network Traces'

Although I have attempted a hobby in photography and failed many times, I still can’t help but find successful concepts in photography almost magnetizing.  When walking past the Cornerhouse the other day I noticed Heiss & Rourke’s images dangling over the mid-afternoon grazer’s heads. I tend to avoid the cafe exhibitions at the Cornerhouse as displays often seem pulled out of perspective amongst the busy environment but this collection seemed almost at home among the diners.

Network Traces is a collection of images exploring the recently popular subject of abandoned industry but with a warming twist – Heiss & Rourke expose the positive side of it all.

Since the 1850s, lines have been closed down as new, more direct lines have appeared, leaving the previous lines to be demolished or, as the pair highlight, left to its own accord, allowing nature to take its course.

 “Wilderness encroaches on these man-made structures, showing conflict between nature an industrial engineering.” – Heiss & Rourke

The beauty of this series is that the pair has found a structure to stick to throughout their collections – composition of the image. Due to this rule, they are free to take an extensive amount of shots but not struggle on picking which shot of say – the tracks at Abbeyhill, Edinburgh -  is more pleasing to the eye, which can often cause unnecessary struggle when putting together a series. I feel that structure is a good starting point for Heiss & Rourke as throughout their work it seems apparent that composition and technicalities of the images are not the most important factor; it is that the images form a story in which the viewer can identify easily.

Botanical Gardens, Glasgow (above), is easily one of my favourites in the series. Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens were once served by this line and now a new line has replaced it, it is left derelict allowing nature to take over as an extension of the gardens. What I admire about this image is how the feeling of being in this situation has been captured so well. The depth of the velvety blacks and greens are illuminated by the natural light source overhead, the line becoming a piece of art in itself. You can almost hear the deafening silence of the station and feel the chilling walls and humidity of the plants battling around your body.

All in all, these guys have a seriously keen and admirable eye for their subjects and know how to capture them in their purest and most realistic format. 

The Network Traces collection and several works from Urban Diptychs is on display on the ground and 1st floor cafe at the Cornerhouse until the 9th July 2013.

For more information visit Heiss & Rourke's website.

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