Marc Wilson 'The Last Stand'4. Oct - 2. Nov 13 / ended Anise Gallery
Thursday - Sunday, 11am - 5pm
‘The Last Stand’, photographed by Marc Wilson since 2010, aims to reflect the histories, stories and memories of military conflict and the landscape. Awarded runner up in the Terry O’Neil Awards, the series of photographs have attracted wide spanning interest and have recently been featured on the BBC.
These compelling images have a captivating duality that challenges the placing of the series within any distinct context. On the one hand these photographs epitomise Wilson’s undeniable skill as a photographer. Having so far been photographed around the UK, Channel Islands, North France and Belgium on various strips of coastline, these abandoned and decaying structural defences, built for the brutality of war are intrinsically opposed to the rugged scenery surrounding them, giving Wilson’s images a powerful tension and evocative beauty. Wilson’s approach to the subject is purposefully subtle; “It was important that they didn’t look too bold or exciting; after all it’s not a bold and exciting subject. What they are is dark and historically important.” The ephemeral images are reminiscent of oil paintings depicting the sublime; visually engaging in their haunting beauty.
Whilst on the other, these photographs have become a crucial documentation of these historically important landmarks. Landmarks that are now in danger of erosion, decay and dismantling. ‘The Last Stand’ explores the current presence of these architectural defences and explores how through their ongoing decay they have entwined themselves historically and physically with the changing landscape.
This exhibition marks the first time that these images have been shown on their own within an art gallery context, they have previously been shown at The Royal Armouries Museum. As work that defies conventional categorisation, it is no coincidence that they are being displayed for the first time in London at Anise Gallery. Having secured financial backing through crowd-funding online, this project promises to evolve to cover western France, Denmark and the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Socially important and visually compelling, it is little wonder that ‘The Last Stand’ is having such profound impact.
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