Focus: Ben Hardman 'Lone'
Photographer Ben Hardman's first solo exhibition of Icelandic environmental portraits.
LONE is a series of environmental portraits taken within the heart of the Icelandic landscape; portraying the story of a lone wanderer, venturing within a vast and desolate world. This exhibition will showcase these images on a large scale, and will mark Ben's first solo exhibit of works. In the month of January 2015, he will be donating the proceeds from this exhibition in person, to the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association (INCA) in Reykjavik, Iceland. "Over time, I have watched as the unique landscape deteriorates amidst an overwhelming increase in tourism. These proceeds will be directly used to aid in maintaining this precious landscape, so that it can continue to be enjoyed in its prime well into the future."
Hey man, tell us a little bit about the exhibition?
Hey man! My first exhibition titled LONE, will run at the Kurb Gallery in Northbridge from Dec 19-Jan 2. LONE is a series of environmental portraits shot in Iceland. The series consists of 9 images, each with its own distinct landscape, that take you on a visual journey around some of Iceland's most fierce and majestic landmarks, contrasting man against nature (or in this case woman haha). The whole idea came about after months of discussion with my girlfriend, and fellow photographer Amy Haslehurst, over how we could portray that feeling of being totally isolated within nature, and venturing into an unknown land; something that I had experienced each time I visited Iceland in the past. With proceeds going to the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association, this exhibition will aid in the preservation of the unique land in Iceland, amidst an overwhelming increase in tourism. With no true remedial course of action taken against the threats and negative implications associated with tourism on the island thus far, the issue has come to the forefront of economic and political debate within the country. It is hoped that the government can one day find a solution that can be in favour of both Icelanders and the tourists.
Sweet! So aside from the landscape what was it you enjoyed most about Iceland and your time in it?
I guess I just love being in a place where nature is still defining its self, things are in constant change, and where you are truly at the mercy of the elements. Iceland is exactly that. It's a spiritual place that's for sure, and you can learn a lot about yourself in these types of environments (like how bloody stupid you are for trying to hike through a blizzard haha).
Fantastic! So talk us through the trip a little bit.. Where did you go in Iceland, what was your itinerary like?
Well it's funny you ask, I actually won a photography competition shooting in a Volcano, which allowed Amy and I to travel from London and Iceland free of charge. This was real cool, but it only allowed us 5 nights in the country, so the trip was severely rushed. As we were travelling in July, we were welcomed with 24 hours of sunlight, so we were able to shoot day and night when ever the weather permitted. I swear, we were shooting at 3am if the location was fitting for the series! We travelled the ring road in a clockwise direction and didn't really have much of a plan. In Iceland everything is bloody beautiful, so it's not hard to find a cool waterfall or mountain in the wilderness. Notable locations for this series were the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, and of course the mighty Dettifoss.
Sounds great man.. so post this exhibition what are your plans? have you got anything in store for 2015?
It's going to be a big year that's for sure! Amy and I will be returning to Iceland next month to carry out a new winter project we have in the works (stay tuned). I will also be presenting the proceeds raised from the exhibition in person to INCA in Reykjavik. Then if all goes to plan, in August I'll be packing up shop and making the big move to Reykjavik. Can't get enough of the place haha.
LONE - A series of environmental portraits from Iceland.
December 19 - January 2nd @ KURB Gallery, 312 William St Perth.
Opening night event: 19th of December @ 6:30pm. Nibbles and drinks will be provided. Entrance will be $10, and a portion of this will be added to the INCA donation fund. Printing proudly sponsored by Paul Jarvis @ Perth Pro Lab.