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ROB AND NIC CARTER | NEW PIGMENT PHOTOGRAPHS

December 6th 2014
Rob and Nick Carter’s ‘Paint Pigment Photographs’ brilliantly capture the spontaneous shapes made by paint pigment as it’s thrown through the air. Angie talks more about the work below.

It’s quite a treat to be introducing this body of work by Rob and Nick Carter. As artistic collaborators, the husband and wife team have worked across many mediums to explore their preoccupation with light, colour and form, and over the past fifteen years they’ve continually pushed the boundaries between photography, painting, sculpture, neon, time-based media and installation.

The stunning ‘Paint Pigment Photographs’ see the artists introduce gestural actions into their work as they present twenty images that beautifully display figurations of powdered paint in various colours as it flies through the air. Initially inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi, known as the festival of colours, where participants chase each other with dry powdered paint and coloured water, the luminosity of the raw pigment is juxtaposed against the clear blue sky as if it were dancing in space. Although removed from this religious and social context, the artworks generate an emotive response in that they bring childhood memories of play fighting with leaves or water, along with a feeling of released energy, which engages the viewer in the work.

Something I find particularly fascinating about these photographs is their capturing of fleeting moments in time that can never be replicated, which is added to by the fact that the shapes created have an element of the ‘accidental’ and can never be properly planned. Most of us are aware that all photography seizes a moment, but somehow on seeing the pigment flying through the air, creating these ‘paintings in space’, we are reminded again that what we see is only a minute fraction of what existed.

For the Carters, the physical act of throwing the pigment is an essential aspect of the finished work. The explosions, when captured at 1/8000th of a second, retain the energy of the act itself, suspended in space, and the resulting photograph - which is not an easy thing to create - is a physical manifestation of the actual performance, creating a permanent record of the creative act.

These captivating images are first and foremost about colour and an unpredictable interaction with form and light. I love the proximity of the rich manmade paint against the natural sky as the artists create their own colour clouds; at first glance there’s a sense of the surreal that makes you question what you’re looking at. Have the clouds been dyed? How has it been done? But on further inspection it’s clear that these are carefully crafted artworks - albeit with a little element of chance - when seen together as a body of work go beyond the simple names for colours or festivals and cultures and stand for something more eternal and ultimately, joyful.

The highly finished pieces are cibachrome prints Diasec mounted on aluminium, and are available in two sizes: 40 x 40 cm and 107 x 107 cm. See the full collection here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
ROB AND NICK CARTER
Paint Pigment Photograph, Cobalt Bermuda Blue
 
 
ROB AND NICK CARTER ROB AND NICK CARTER
Paint Pigment Photograph, Zanderin Golden Paint Pigment Photograph, Pyrazoquinazolone
 
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