In The Frame: Martin Healy – Terrain

Posted 2 months ago in Arts & Culture Features

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Martin Healy


The Terrain series forms part of an ongoing body of photographs that explore our contested relationship with the natural world by examining the cultural constructs used to shape our perception of ‘nature’.

Each image is suffused with an uneasy stillness that slowly discloses the artifice of the surrounding environment and reveals the plants as enclosed specimens – substitutes for the real, designed to fulfil our desire for an experience with nature.

From gardens to zoos, we create artificial environments hewn from the raw materials of the ‘natural world’, which are then reshaped and altered to depict a passive image of nature.

These efforts to instrumentalise ‘nature’ – to recast it in a familiar pictorial language – underlines our desire for an idealised image that keeps the reality of the natural world at a distance.

Terrain is on display in the RHA Foyer until April 22.

Special thanks to The National Botanic Gardens and The Office of Public Works.

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