artist / participant
Dan Holdsworth takes photographs at the edge of things. Early works were set in the anonymous hinterlands of urban sprawl - car parks of vast shopping centres, service roads that snake around bleak countryside, unkempt grassy verges beyond fenced-off civilization. Often one particular dominant feature arises from these non-spaces like a lumbering, mechanical alien; for example the illuminated, empty advertising board of one of Holdsworth's most well-known pieces, ‘Megalith 1' (2000). Working serially, Holdsworth tends towards locations that are end-points of this world either geographically or symbolically. The former can be seen in works like ‘The World In Itself' (2002) set in the blasted, volcanic landscape of Iceland, the latter, in a number of pieces set at space-ports and rocket launch-pads.
For his new series, of which three are presented at STORE, Holdsworth travelled to Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to the site of the world's largest radio telescope. It is a place where science meets nature in a literal way through the constant battle to keep the jungle from invading the site, but also in a more abstruse way through the function of the telescope to reach out into the depths of the universe. Holdsworth's particular object of study was the Gregorian reflector system - a metal dome suspended from a circular track 450 foot in the air above the main reflector. Through the use of long exposure times the slowly rotating dome is seen as a metallic blur.
Each work is poised at the border between human invention and untouched nature - the observatory is poised at the edge of lush rainforest, the Gregorian dome is a blur dissolving against the azure blue sky. Human presence moulds the landscape through the construction of the site, but remains beyond the frame. Like other works in Holdsworth's oeuvre one can understand these pieces as metaphors for the human mind, an ultimately unknowable place where the rational is constantly in flux with uncharted wilds - these works are landscapes of the mind.
Dan Holdsworth was born in 1974 and studied at the London College of Printing. He has had solo exhibitions at the Barbican Art Gallery, London and the New Art Gallery, Walsall, and Entwistle, London and has exhibited internationally at the Fotomuseum, Winterthur, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Victoria Miro, London.
Dan Holdsworth "The Gregorian"