George Miles - Views of Matlock Bath
Views of Matlock Bath consists of large format colour photographs of the landscape around an area of the Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, England. Classifications of landscape representation were cultivated within these views by painters such as Turner and Constable, Joseph Wright and Alexander Cozens. The book developed as part of three year project carried out under the mentorship of renowned American photographer Stephen Shore. George Miles' contemplative photographs are accompanied by a short history of the area and an introductory essay by artist, curator of and writer Jeremy Millar. The book draws upon a variety of pictorial representations from photography and painting, the valley itself being of great significance in formalising ideas of Landscape as a genre in its own right. George Miles' sublime large format color photographs explore how the land is used, viewed, and mediated: both physically and through representations of it. The town having bore witness to the consolidation of the English landscape tradition through visiting artists on the Grand Tour, the birth of both the Industrial Revolution, and of mass tourism (the first package holiday organised by Thomas Cook in 1841). These interconnections and the relationship they bear upon how we view the landscape are explored through the sequencing of photographs within the book, setting up a dialectic tension between these opposites presents a contemplative space in which to critically reflect upon how representations of 'nature' since the Industrial Revolution have been complicit in the environmental problems we are now currently faced with.