Developing innovative techniques in tune with meticulous research, an obsessive interest into the natural world and the literally ground-breaking world of geology, the work of photographer Dan Holdsworth both astounds and intrigues in equal measures.
We sat down with Dan Holdsworth in his studio to talk about his art, inspiration and his recent collaboration with Moncler…
END. – How did the collaboration come about?
Dan Holdsworth – The project grew from my first discussions with Moncler back in 2012. We talked about the Blackout work and how this could make a great collaboration!
E – Did Moncler’s heritage encourage you to collaborate with them?
DH – Yes, absolutely! Moncler have an incredible heritage and it is one that they continue to develop in extremely innovative ways. The mountain expedition clothing that Moncler have produced from their outset are designed to extend the possibilities of human endurance pushed to the very limits. Within their cleverly conceived garments Moncler elegantly make reference to both this iconic early history as well as referencing that of future technologies of mountain exploration. In this sense the coming together of Blackout and Moncler is for me about referencing the unification of the innovation of ideas and for celebrating exploration and idea of landscape.
E – How did you feel seeing your work on another medium other than print?
DH – It’s exciting to see my images articulated into the fluid material space of the garments, which creates a really interesting new sculptural aspect to the work. The print quality is also extraordinary!
E – What is the ispiration behind your art and the Blackout series in particular?
DH – The Blackout work is made from source negatives originally made at Solheimajokull, a glacier on the South coast of Iceland. Blackout is a work fundamentally about ideas of transformation and the environment. I first become drawn to the Solheimajokull glacier because of its special appearance, at this time [Holdsworth first visited the glacier in 2000] the terminus of the glacier was almost entirely black – composed of volcanic debris melting out of the ice, so it absolutely contradicted ones sense of how a glacier should classically appear.
Working with the imagery of the glacier I made the simple conceptual realisation to invert/reverse the image – in undergoing this transposition – we see a sort of restoration of the notion of a pristine/ideal glacier while simultaneously the reversal also makes an absolute transformation of the atmosphere as the white of the sky becomes the black of space, and in doing so describes a new planetary reading of the surface, the atmosphere is absolutely removed.
E – I take it science and technology play as much as a role as conceptualisation in your work?
DH – Blackout plays with our expectations of the scientific imaging of planetary landscapes via for example radar and x-ray imaging. In Blackout through the reversal of the image – glaciers become volumes of light within the void of space and as such they paradoxically also become voids themselves, as the white space of the glacier forms a littoral negative [a reference to 19th c. photograph} – a ‘vessel’ for light, a volume to be fulfilled, a volume which subsequent to the photographic record no longer exists in this form. A ‘blackout’ is also representative of a human scale of time, so in Blackout I introduce a human perception/scale of time into the geological.
EH – After the roaring success of the capsule collection, what are your plans for the future in terms of both art and collaborating with other fashion brands?
DH – In the coming months we are continuing to launch Blackout Moncler at events around the world. I’m also currently working on a new project with glaciologists to explore the possibilities of creating imagery using 3D models of landscapes.
You can look at more of Dan Holdsworth work by visiting the artist’s personal website.
The Moncler x Dan Holdsworth collaboration is now available online. For a limited time only, receive the extremely sought after ‘Blackout’ by Dan Holdsworth book when you purchase any piece from the collection.