Still Life

6 March 2019
Barren open lands whose waves of heat carry the horizon up into the melting sky. Natural stillness. The whirr of a rattlesnake and the low buzz of distant dust are replaced by the vibrating tension of terror threats that thicken inside your head. Surrounded by emptiness, we turn inwards to find our desires. Wherever you are, it can feel as if you are wandering over desert plains, alone and searching for that one true oasis, a mirage of distractions along the way with the heat of pressure weighing down on your head. Wary of others and weary of trying, we segregate ourselves, separated by the protective defence disguised as a spiky attack. Like a calm cactus, alone but not lonely, standing proud amongst desolation and departure.
In a time when the world is consumed by daily destruction and environmental danger, this series dons its explorer hat and revisits the photogenic variety of the natural world. Stability, perseverance. Portrait photographer Georgia Devey Smith branches out from her usual technique, using the serrated warnings of cacti to offset the soft angles created by Eduard Badaluta at Supa Model Management. Dangerous beauty. By focussing on the individuality of each leaf, Georgia sinks roots deep beneath Eduard's fluid chill; both a model and a photographer, his compound character is examined and represented through the shapes and moods emitted by the plants. Quiet, simply sitting on a wooden chair, unstyled and unphased, Eduard's portraits find peace in the landscape.
The clashing images stand side by side, proving the possibility of an earthly harmony - a soft protest to the pressure that stems from conflict. Guarded with thorns, it takes stillness to realise and time to open our minds. The images may be, but the world is not black and white, let's search through the arid soil and find the greener grass.

Words by Jonny Clowes.

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