Nick Brandt's life-size images of East Africa's disappearing animals installed in the wastelands that have replaced their habitats.
Three years after the completion of his trilogy, On This Earth, A Shadow Falls Across the Ravaged Land, Nick Brandt returned to East Africa to photograph the escalating changes to the continent’s natural world and its animals. In a series of epic panoramas, Brandt recorded the impact of man in places where animals used to roam, but no longer do. In each location, Brandt erected a life-size panel of one of his portrait photographs — showing groups of elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, cheetahs and zebras — placing the displaced animals on sites of explosive urban development, new factories, wastelands and quarries. The contemporary figures within the photographs seem oblivious to the presence of the panels and the animals represented in them, who are now no more than ghosts in the landscape.
Inherit the Dust includes this new body of panoramic photographs along with original portraits of the animals used in the panoramas, the unique emotional animal portraiture for which Brandt is recognized. There are also two essays by the artist: a text about the crisis facing the conservation of the natural world in East Africa, and behind-the-scenes descriptions of Brandt’s elaborate production process, with accompanying documentary photographs.
Read the interview with Nick Brandt on Inherit the Dust on photo-eye Blog
Nick Brandt (born 1964) photographs exclusively in Africa. Born in Britain and currently based in Southern California, Brandt cofounded Big Life Foundation in 2010, which helps protect the endangered wildlife inhabiting a large area of East Africa.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
"Nick Brandt’s ravishing portraits of African animals are like premonitory memorials, taken to aid the cause of staving off extinction. In Inherit the Dust, his astonishing panoramas of those portraits - installed as life-size panels in industrial and urban wastelands that have trampled the animals’ habitats - are a jolting combination of beauty, decay, and admonishment.
The result is an eloquent and complex “J’accuse”, for the people are as victimized by “development” as the animals are.
The breadth, detail, and incongruity of Brandt’s panoramas suggest a collision between Bruegel and an apocalypse in waiting."
— Vicki Goldberg, Art Critic, Author
"The wasted lands in Inherit The Dust were once golden savannah, sprinkled with acacia trees, where elephants, big cats and rhinos roamed. These now dystopian landscapes - as Nick Brandt’s unvarnished, harrowing but stunning work reveals – brings us face to face with a crisis, both social and environmental, demanding the renewal of humanity itself."
— Kathryn Bigelow, Film Director, The Hurt Locker
"The images in Inherit The Dust are heart-wrenching and important. This tough new series is a call to action – if it is not too late – and pulls no punches in confronting us with the devastation of their habitat."
— Phillippe Garner, Co-Chairman, Christies
"With Inherit The Dust, the quiet dignity of the animals that Nick Brandt photographs is shockingly juxtaposed against the indignity and disarray of our own. These haunting photographs force us to think about what we are doing, and who is at stake."
— Carl Safina, Author, Biologist, Beyond Words, What Animals Think & Feel
"Nick Brandt's remarkable new work, Inherit The Dust, is a photographic essay in environmental ethics. He asks, in the most stark fashion: "What are we doing to this planet? What have we gained, and what have we – and the other animals with whom we share our planet – lost?"
— Peter Singer, Philosopher, Author, Animal Liberation