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Martin Prothero, "Pigeon", Exeter quayside, tail feathers left marks at top of print as pigeon took off, 2002.

Martin Prothero

As a maker of images, the UK based artist Martin Prothero takes an unusually hands-off approach by creating "work that allows nature to document itself." His work draws on his wilderness survival and bushcraft training to present the direct calligraphy of animal tracks, shadows cast by native vegetation and pinhole photographs made from natural objects found in the wilderness.

"Carbon Light Life", is a series of works made using panes of glass meticulously coated with carbon and laid out overnight in places frequented by animals. "Their footprints leave marks of their presence on the glass, which can be read as beautiful abstract drawings, and as a narrative of a specific place. They record the point in time where the creature's life and the artist's were connected."

Part document and part inadvertent confession by the creatures and places he records, Prothero maneuvers nature's secrets into revealing themselves for our benefit. Sitting in one place for up to 24 hours to fully immerse himself in the sounds, scents and details of a place, the artist attempts to become a "resident, part of the ecology, eating, sleeping and breathing the environment in one location." His work lays out the clues and invites us to join him in a deepening behind-the-scenes relationship with the natural world.


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Carbon Light Life

© 2010