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Jeremy Kidd

Compositing up to 100 long exposures into a single piece is a more cohesive way of expressing the filmic. It allows me to explore movement and condense time”

Jeremy Kidd

In 2004, photographer Jeremy Kidd was heading out to the California desert with the poem 'Ariel' by Sylvia Plath running through his head. The Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles was curating a show called 'Crazy Thoughts Have Quick Wings' and had challenged its artists to create works inspired by the poem, in which Plath describes an elemental horse ride as dawn breaks.

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

As the sun came up, Jeremy found parallels between the opening words of Ariel and the dramatic desert landscape, but felt a single photograph would be an inadequate medium to capture it.

He remembers: "I found an old armchair perched atop a dusty mountain in Desert Hot Springs.  From there I surveyed the landscape as I looked across to Palm Springs and it seemed obvious that I was going to have to use multiple shots to convey this scene in sight and sense."

And so, nine years ago, Jeremy's composite photographic aesthetic was born. He adds: "Compositing up to 100 long exposures into a single piece is a more cohesive way of expressing the filmic. It allows me to explore movement and condense time – and express the transcendental essence of place."

“It seems unrealistic to expect a single photographic shot, a single moment in time, to convey the human experience of seeing. We visually explore our environment in the third and forth dimensions as we build our personal visual journey.”

Jeremy's powerful work has been exhibited all over the world since his first shows in 1998, particularly in the US, where he currently lives. He has a tremendous artistic pedigree – the grandson of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth – although he does, of course, work in a different medium from his stellar forebears.

That said, Jeremy considers himself 'a painter, painting in pixels' and builds up his work in layers, in a process as painstaking as any application of paint to canvas.

He says: "I usually shoot for week returning to the same scene at different times of day to experience a range of lighting conditions and weather shifts. I continue to work on the reassembling of the many shots in Photoshop for up to four months though I have spent a year on a work such as ‘Time Square 1, 2007’, and used over 750 layers."

It's intensive detailed work, but the rewards are self-evident. On one level, Jeremy's work combines the purely sensual joy of colour and geometry. On another, there's something spiritual in the awesome scope of these visions – an expression of the raw power of urbanscape that refers back to 19th century giants like Turner and Friedrich. Interestingly, though, it's the urban landscape Jeremy chooses to depict. "Landscape reminds me of my smallness and simultaneously of my connection to the whole. I prefer cityscapes because they present a more challenging scene to convey this enigmatic sense of place," he says.

This new show, for the Catto, reflects an who’s work has reached maturity. The mastery of composition is evident in works such as 'Tower Bridge' and ‘Chrysler 1' while a painter's irresistible sense of colour is plain for all to see in 'Times Square', 'Sydney Star' and 'The Oriental Pearl Pudong'.

These works demand to be seen up close.

B.A. at De Monfort University, Leicester, England

Selected Exhibitions
2013    Lesley Sack Contemporary, CA    
2013    Catto Gallery, UK
2013    Aldeburgh Lookout Residency, Caroline Wiseman Gallery, UK
2011    Cities: Curated by Camilla Boemio Torrance Museum of Art, CA
2009    Fictional Realities: Fahey Klein Gallery, CA
2008    Hyper Architectural Typologies: California Museum of Photography University of California Riverside, CA
2007    Fictional Realities: Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
2002    Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2001    UFO Show Curated by Barry Blinderman, The Gibson Gallery, The Art Museum, NY
1999    Biennial: Orange County Museum of Art Newport Beach, CA
1999    Limits: Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
1998    Pop Surrealism: The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT