Brooke Holm: Photographs from the Wild

22 April - 13 May 2021
  • Informality is excited to announce 'Photographs from the Wild' bringing together a collection of works created over the last five years by American photographer, Brooke Holm.

    Brooke Holm has travelled to some of the world's most beautiful and vulnerable wild locations including, the melting ice caps of Svalbard in Norway, the Namibian Desert, the protected algae grasslands at Shark Bay in Australia and more recently Death Valley. In her new work, the artist continues her fascination with the cosmos working with NASA to document the surface of the moon.

    Brooke Holm is an American photo-media artist. Holm connected with photography from a young age as a means to observe the natural world she encountered whilst travelling between Australia and the US visiting parents. Her deep appreciation for Earth’s landscapes and her subsequent investigations into the tension and bonds between humans and the natural world. Searching for unconventional ways in which to portray the world, she took to the skies to photograph landscapes from helicopters and planes. She aims to inspire new perspectives and holistic views of our home by disrupting the scale at which we typically consume the natural world.

     

    Brooke's abstract compositions of our planet can be compared to a view which only astronauts would see looking down on Earth from space.

    Brooke Holm's work has been exhibited internationally in the UK, Australia, USA and France. In 2019 her work was included in the Every Woman Biennial, in the same year she was selected for The Arctic Circle expeditionary residency in Svalbard, Norway. In 2021 she was selected for a studio residency at MASS MoCA. Brooke Holm's work is held in private collections throughout Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Europe.

     

  • Death Valley, USA

    In 2020 before the pandemic, Brooke Holm visited Death Valley in the USA to continue to develop her research that draws on visual similarities between Death Valley national park with the topography of Mars.

     

    Deserts are of particular interest to Brooke Holm, for the way they harbour and sustain life despite the environmental extremes. She compares the similarities of the landscape at Death Valley, scared by drained river basins, erosion and seismic events with other terrestrial planets in our solar system.

    Approximately 3.8 billion years ago, the surface of Mars showed more properties that are more comparable to the surface of our Earth today.

     

    "My research and creation of this project has involved searching through hundreds of thousands of images of Mars captured by the highest resolution camera that exists, the HiRise camera which was built by the University of Arizona/Ball Aerospace & Technologies - I have edited, curated and compared these images with my images of Earth, creating a stunning resemblance and visual connection between the two planets."

  • Brooke Holm, Valle Mortis, 2020

    Brooke Holm

    Valle Mortis, 2020 Inkjet on archival paper
    100 x 75 cm
    150 x 112.5 cm
    200 x 150 cm
  • Conversations with the Moon

    Brooke Holm's fascination with space, time and existence on Earth has traditionally led her to photograph landscapes from aerial viewpoints, often drawing inspiration from NASA satellite imagery.


    In 2018 she was selected by NASA to photograph at the Michoud Rocket Assembly Facility in New Orleans and was invited back in December 2019 to document the completion of the core stage of the upcoming Artemis missions, visit Stennis Space Center and attend a launch from Kennedy Space Center.

    This work forms part of an ongoing series for the artist, exploring humans' relationship to space and how spatial factors can affect us physically and mentally. This includes both the environmental space around us, spaces we create here on Earth, outer space and the potential for a new residence beyond our familiar territory.

    In exploring our place within the greater macrocosm, Brooke is interested in whether concepts of connection and coexistence within our universe are more discernible when altering the observational and experiential norms of everyday perspective.

    • Eclipse VI, 2019 Inkjet on archival paper 80 x 60 cm
      Eclipse VI, 2019
      Inkjet on archival paper
      80 x 60 cm
    • Eclipse I, 2019 Inkjet on archival paper 80 x 60 cm
      Eclipse I, 2019
      Inkjet on archival paper
      80 x 60 cm
  • Namib Sand Sea

    Sand Sea is a series of work shot in 2019 in the oldest desert in the world in Namibia where the dunes tower hundreds of meters into the sky. In Sand Sea, Brooke photographs the shifting light captured at both dawn and dusk, against the topography of the dune peaks, creating stimulating abstractions in dusty pinks and burnt red hues.

    From overhead, the horizon disappears from view, allowing for the most intimate details to be accentuated. From this perspective, the dunes bear a resemblance to the human form, an array of flesh tones blending and cascading in a symphony, bringing to mind our complicated relationship with nature and its magnetic pull on the human subconscious.

    Namibia was the first country in the world to have a national policy on climate change and is recognised as one of the countries vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The predicted increases in temperature and evaporation as well as increased variability of rainfall will exacerbate the existing challenges that Namibia is facing as the driest country south of the Sahara.

     

    *extract from Sand Sea catalogue, self-published by the artist.

     

    • Sand Sea V, 2019 Inkjet on archival paper 75 x 100 cm 112.5 x 150 cm 150 x 200 cm
      Sand Sea V, 2019
      Inkjet on archival paper
      75 x 100 cm
      112.5 x 150 cm
      150 x 200 cm
    • Sand Sea IV , 2019 Inkjet on archival paper 75 x 100 cm 112.5 x 150 cm 150 x 200 cm
      Sand Sea IV , 2019
      Inkjet on archival paper
      75 x 100 cm
      112.5 x 150 cm
      150 x 200 cm
  • Lake Tyrrell, Australia

    In 2018 the artist visited Lake Tyrrell, a shallow salt-crusted depression in the south of Australia and what is Victoria’s largest salt lake covering roughly 51,500 acres.

    Brooke visited the lake and learnt from the early evidence of human habitation which was found at the site, it is perhaps the oldest human evidence among Victoria and Tasmania. In this historically profound site, Brooke shares her appreciation from an aerial perspective, creating abstract visuals of the shallow crusted lake in a swirl of texture and colour.

    • Sea Lake III, 2018 Inkjet on archival paper 67 x 100 cm 100 x 150 cm
      Sea Lake III, 2018
      Inkjet on archival paper
      67 x 100 cm
      100 x 150 cm
    • Sea Lake IV, 2018 Inkjet on archival paper 67 x 100 cm 100 x 150 cm
      Sea Lake IV, 2018
      Inkjet on archival paper
      67 x 100 cm
      100 x 150 cm
  • Shark Bay, Australia

     In 2016 Brooke travelled to Western Australia to document the salt fields. These salt field landscapes captured by the artist are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site located at Shark Bay. Shark Bay is the furthest western point of mainland Australia and is protected for three natural exceptional features; the largest seagrass beds in the world measuring 4,800 meters squared. Shark Bay is also home to a population of dugong, it also hosts one of the oldest life forms on earth, a form of algae called Stromatolites.


    Brooke Holm's photographs are a visually stunning example of nature, shot from above from a helicopter, the salt ponds and harvested fields create graphic compositions.

    • Salt Sky I , 2016 Inkjet on archival paper 67 x 100 cm 100 x 150 cm
      Salt Sky I , 2016
      Inkjet on archival paper
      67 x 100 cm
      100 x 150 cm
    • Salt Sky II, 2016 Inkjet on archival paper 67 x 100 cm 100 x 150 cm
      Salt Sky II, 2016
      Inkjet on archival paper
      67 x 100 cm
      100 x 150 cm
  • Svalbard, Norway

    Svalbard, Norway

    In 2016 Brooke Holm embarked on a voyage to Svalbard In Norway and later returned in 2019 as the recipient artist for The Arctic Circle expeditionary residency.

    Brooke became interested in documenting this unique landscape in one of the northernmost regions of the world as an effort to raise awareness, not only of the Arctic's existence but also to expose the prevailing impact of a changing climate.

    Her expedition began responding to the minimal landscape her work later developed as a reference to the silence and isolation that these places are home to. Svalbard to Brooke was a region that turned out to hold much more than just a visually arresting natural environment. There was an obvious fragility to the North that awakened an inner desire to protect it.

    Most of the archipelago's surface in Svalbard is under no less than 200 metres of thick ice and together, Svalbard glaciers represent 6% of the worldwide glacier area outside the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica - if they were to melt, sea levels would rise by 1.7m.

    • Spitsbergen, 2015 Inkjet on archival paper 75 x 100 cm 120 x 160 cm 150 x 200 cm
      Spitsbergen, 2015
      Inkjet on archival paper
      75 x 100 cm
      120 x 160 cm
      150 x 200 cm
    • Raudjforden, 2015 Inkjet on Archival Paper 75 x 100 cm 120 x 160 cm 150 x 200 cm
      Raudjforden, 2015
      Inkjet on Archival Paper
      75 x 100 cm
      120 x 160 cm
      150 x 200 cm
  • 'Nothing to see here'

    • Nothing to see here IX, 2019 Silver gelatin print 90 x 120 cm
      Nothing to see here IX, 2019
      Silver gelatin print
      90 x 120 cm
    • Nothing to see here III, 2019 Silver gelatin print 90 x 120 cm
      Nothing to see here III, 2019
      Silver gelatin print
      90 x 120 cm
  • Iceland

    Iceland

    Iceland is one of the world's most sparsely populated countries. The land in Iceland is covered by more glaciers than any other in continental Europe, the glaciers in Iceland account for 10% of the country’s total landmass, the country is also one of the world's most active geothermal zones with currently 30 active volcanoes. 

     

    This series titled, Mineral Matter first photographed in 2015 explores the interplay between Iceland's dynamic river deltas and traces of mankind's curiosity. Volcanic ash, sediment and colourful minerals are collected and moved by the travels of glacial water while recent human relics such as vehicle tracks and footsteps weave in and out of frame. In this beautiful yet forbidding landscape where the forces of nature are profound, the limits of humanity's dominion over the environment are brought into question.

     

    • Mineral Matter VII, 2017 Inkjet on archival paper 67 x 100 cm 100 x 150 cm
      Mineral Matter VII, 2017
      Inkjet on archival paper
      67 x 100 cm
      100 x 150 cm
    • Mineral Matter IX, 2017 Inkjet on archival paper 67 x 100 cm 100 x 150 cm
      Mineral Matter IX, 2017
      Inkjet on archival paper
      67 x 100 cm
      100 x 150 cm
  • "Nature is deeply embedded within the human collective unconscious, yet there is a profound tension to the way we exist in the world. I see our attempts to separate ourselves from the environment as a philosophical conundrum. Physical infrastructure, exploitation and extraction from the Earth, self-appointed dominion and ownership over land and animals, have again and again shown a human exercise of power seeking to increase our livelihood at the expense of all living things, including - paradoxically - ourselves. 

     

    My sensitivity towards the biophilic began with early immersion in, and connection to, the nature that surrounded me, and subsequently led to questions about how and if I belong to nature. My work and search for answers has taken me to some far reaches of the globe… otherworldly places that leave me astounded at the beauty of our home. Importantly, viewing Earth’s landscapes as otherworldly in itself is a consequence of the separation we have come to accept. 

     

    Recognizing this conflict and seeking to understand it are driving factors behind my determination to create work that reflects the challenges of living in and effectively documenting, a changing world. In reconnecting people to nature with visual representations of our home, can we begin to dismantle the idea of separation and instead focus on coexistence?"