From The Saddleworth Series - Responding to a Landscape.
For Murray ‘The Saddleworth Series’ is a photographic odyssey, an epic series of landscape works made over four years , 2012 – 2016. Based in Birmingham and working with Gallery Vassie, Amsterdam, Murray is more known for his street photography and portraiture. His new preoccupation with landscape, documenting the moorlands during all seasons and conditions, focuses on light, nature and geology. The results are rich, painterly and reminiscent of Dutch seventeenth century landscape painter Jacob Van Ruisdael. The work also references the iconic, epic, pictorial photographs of the Masters of landscape photography like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, in that they show both the vastness of landscape as well as the microscopic. Murray’s focus on light and texture reveals an appreciation of the beauty of the moors, from striking long summer days to snow storms in the depth of winter. In the series nature dominates and there is no evidence of human intervention or presence apart from the photographer’s approach. And yet here, given the title and location of the series, we are all too aware that in these moorlands there has been a dark human presence.