Edward Ranney: Two Landscapes: England & Peru
Portfolio Introduction
England: In 1980 Edward Ranney was awarded a grant from The Northern Arts Council of Great Britain to photograph throughout Cumbria, in Northern England, and to exhibit a selection of the resulting work at the Carlisle Museum and Art Gallery. The work extended into 1981, and the exhibition took place in 1982. This selection of photographs favors views of the open spaces of the hills, or fells, of Cumbria and Northumberland including Hadrian’s Wall, the fortified earthwork delimiting the northernmost Roman occupation of the British Isles. Peru: The Andean coastal desert of southern Peru is particularly known for the geoglyphs created by the Nazca culture around 500 AD. The pictures shown in this exhibit are selected from The Lines, the monograph published by the Yale University Art Gallery in 2014. In contrast to the aerial viewpoint favored by contemporary photographers in the depicting these glyphs, Ranney’s photographs, made between 1985 and 2009, were made on ground level using a 5x7 large format camera. The physical contact with the desert spaces transformed by Nazca cultural traditions gives us an immediate sense of the challenging natural world in which the Nazca flourished. More importantly, when viewed from the ground, they glyphs – or lines – transform a harsh environment into an understandable, even intimate, cultural space.

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