Martin Cox: Snow Drawings
Summer might be a good time to imagine cooler climes with a meditative project on snow. While in Iceland, photographer Martin Cox encountered landscapes that at once felt other worldly and stark, with no demarcation of where the sky ended and the land started, with only the occasional structure, herd of animals, or foliage to bring things into context. He felt as if he was looking at living drawings, graphite blacks on blank white canvases of snow.
Martin’s Snow Drawings series forms a major part of his solo exhibition Right Here Far Away currently showing at the Husavik Museum in Iceland, running through September 2017. The exhibition includes seven 3 foot long prints from the series along with four other projects all related to Icelandic landscape, and one that mixes images shot in the area around the San Andreas fault with that of geological features from Icelands tectonic plate margin. An interview with Martin in Norwegian Style magazine can be found here.
In addition, a limited edition book published by Fabrik Media will be available in August this year and will include a limited edition signed print. If you would like more information, please contact the artist.
Martin Cox (born UK, active US). The port of Southampton, provided early inspiration, Cox studied Fine Art at Winchester School of Art, and Exeter School of Art and Design in Devon, England before moving to California.
His solo exhibition “Far Away Right Here” is showing at the Husavik Museum in Iceland. Large monochromatic prints investigating minimalist landscape under heavy snow, along with other works stem from a winter Iceland art residency.
Based in Los Angeles, Martin’s landscape projects, some with extended time spans, for example, an 8 year investigation of distressed resort towns adjacent to a shrinking lake was shown in London and Los Angeles. He spent 6 years photographing fading disused ocean liners from Asia to the Atlantic coast, was shown in Los Angeles and published. His subjects include a 13th century manor house steeped in entropy, and currently a landscape project combing San Andreas fault areas with Icelandic locations of geological stress is ongoing.
Local commissions and permanent collections include projects at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, LA City Council 13th District and the Safnahúsið Á Húsavík, Iceland. Trained at a traditional black & white fine art printer, and with experience co-directing a gallery Cox now works with digital media and is developing a conceptual museum combining 2D and 3D works and online works for his museum of ennui.
The story of Snow Drawing
In February there were no whales and or tourists in northern Iceland, just a small quiet town with a hand full of artists attending a winter residency. I met Vidir, a whale watching captain with little to do.
Without transport and in heavy snow travel was limited. When Vidir offerer to drive me I took offer took off to explore areas beyond my reach. I was keen to see the inland valleys, and escarpments. I chose a day with heavily snow-laden skies and a chilly stillness.
With the sky almost exactly the same tone of the foreground, something strange was happening. The landscape lacked any familiar scale or comprehendible distance. I turned my camera on these mysterious snowscapes, stripped of all but a few uncovered marks. The relationship with drawing struck me right away. That relationship between marks on a while page and how they easily describe three-dimensional space. Brief dots described the scene. A vertical cliff face, a fence post, a barn, a small tree, a horse, a tractor – all gave evidence of the unfolding landscape beyond. The undulating topography described only by the rise and fall of fence posts or a hedge. It was very quiet, very cold and breathtaking.
I explored struck by the strangeness of the whiteness. Vidir would wait patiently or drive to catch me up, I was glad of short breaks inside the warm car only to be pulled out again to respond to the blankness before me, without a horizon the world was both vast and close, objects seemed right here and far away.
As the thick white clouds parted in late afternoon and fragments of sun light and blue sky emerged the entire illusion was lost and a more familiar understanding of distance returned. Light moves fast in Iceland.
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