An evocative, timeless and emotional series of landscape photographs that simultaneously highlight the uniqueness and representative qualities held by an array of urban, pastoral and coastal British topographies. Michael Shea’s photography provides a delicate blend of documentary and art, not only charting the beauty and textures of under-explored geographical terrains, but also chronicling through them a personal journey that investigates identity, history and loss.
‘Distracted Focus is perhaps the finest example of Michael Shea’s delicate blending of documentary and art. This collection is formed of landscape photographs that have been taken around various parts of the United Kingdom, and that present us with the haunting, beautiful aspects of a post-millenarian, post-human world.
In Distracted Focus, Michael shows how the persistent and perennial beauty of nature – scudding clouds, creeping branches, metronomic tides, crowns of trees coaxed by liberal breezes – can render the extinct technologies of mankind pathetic and also oddly anonymous. A telescope on the South Downs could just as easily be in New England or overlooking the Pacific on the Gold Coast of Australia; a quiet English road is transformed into an abandoned desert highway; and an empty Sussex branch line could easily lead to Poland or somewhere in the Balkans. Geopolitical boundaries are rendered futile in these landscapes in which the quarrelsome progenitors of such distinctions have been made absent.’ - James Wilson
Distracted Focus will be published in a beautiful, luxurious limited edition book by Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers on 3 October, 2018. More about the book can be found at this link.