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Alex Hartley - Random act of God

Photograph, 2005. Courtesy the artist.

Alex Hartley - The world that we've created

Photograph, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery.

Built Photographs

Random act of God

Built photograph, 2005. Courtesy the artist.

The world that we've created

Built photograph, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery.

Today we are confronted with a new kind of danger that combines man’s actions with environmental disasters; ecological ruination. This is where the motif of the ruin finds a whole new life in contemporary art. Today's artists again take up the theme of the ruin in order to warn and alert our society of the new dangers ahead. Climate change is at work and expressed in rising waters and coastal erosion: Alex Hartley is a strong voice in this movement.

The Built Photographs series consists of Hartley's bas-relief mixed-media architectural constructions, physically inserted into large-scale landscape photographs. The architectural elements are imagined, fabricated and fixed through the photographic plane – penetrating the surface and protruding out from the landscape image.

Alex Hartley

Alex Hartley is an artist based in the UK, whose work destabilises ideas of both iconic architecture and nature by exploring our understanding of utopian ideologies. Hartley has taken his work into the public realm, making ambitious works of land-art and employing his practice to test our notions of utopia, the individual, and the critical relationship we have with the environment that questions how we occupy the world's wild places.

Hartley’s artistic practice is wide-ranging, comprising wall-based sculptural photographic compositions, filmmaking, climbing, artist publications, room-sized architectural installations, participatory site-specific works, and it often involves him travelling to remote places (including an uninhabited island in the High Arctic) to instigate new work. For Meadow Arts exhibition, In Ruins at Witley Court (English Heritage), Hartley’s newly commissioned sculptures appear to be ruined buildings, complete with plants and moss growing upon their ‘dilapidated’ surfaces.

Previously, the artist has undertaken a residency with the National Trust for Scotland (2013) and has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally at venues including the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2017); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2017); Contemporary Arts Centre, Ohio, US (2014); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2013); Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester (2012) and the Fundación Canal, Madrid (2008).

Hartley is represented by the Victoria Miro Gallery, UK