Illuminated Landscapes is a Photographic / New Media project by artist duo Brad Blucher and Kyle Clements.
Rather than relying on digital manipulation, Illuminated Landscapes creates surreal landscapes entirely in-camera by bathing the environment in coloured light.
In the beginning, I was reluctant to participate in this photo series with Kyle. I have never been very interested in photographing the natural world. My preference is to spend the time required to properly appreciate a beautiful and rare scene as it is happening and then commit it to memory. I find this to be far more pleasant than using a device to capture an imperfect record of what I witnessed.
This sensibility is what informed my treatment of the photos contained in the following pages. I tried to approach the act of taking pictures with the same set of sensibilities that I have always approached my light based work: from the position of a sculptor (manipulator) of light. This means that each photograph was produced with an eye toward what was impossible for nature to produce (or the naked eye to experience) under normal circumstances. The end result is a series of photos that capture an environment that is much closer to a world of fantasy than the natural world.
I originally had the idea for Illuminated Landscapes in March of 2010. I imagined a bunch of snow covered trees bathed in multi-coloured light.
Unfortunately, it was March. The snow had melted and I would have to wait nearly a year before I could put this idea into action.
Imagine my frustration eleven months later, when I discovered that not only was the snow very difficult to properly light, but the results were consistently uninteresting. Standing in the middle of a forest at midnight in temperatures well below -20 was entirely unnecessary.
Of course, having nearly a full year to prepare meant that I put everything off to the last minute. Our first photo shoot was delayed several hours because I was still soldering together the components that would be our lights.
What interests me as a photographer is how an image can be completely transformed by lights and lenses; the mundane can be transformed into the extraordinary.
For Illuminated Landscapes, my goal was to push that effect as far as I could. I wanted to create otherworldly scenes by projecting strong vivid colours onto otherwise very ordinary landscapes. I wanted to do this entirely on-location with no post-production trickery.
Brad Blucher and Kyle Clements have been collaborating on various new-media projects for nearly a decade. Brad Blucher is an artist from Northern York Region who fell in love with the Toronto art scene during his education at the Ontario College of Art of Design. Brad's art practice focuses on light and our biological relationship to it. Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based OCAD graduate. His work is vibrant and colourful with a focus on capturing the overwhelming buzz and energy of life in the city. Kyle's acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.