Thomas Joshua Cooper’s Lush Photographs are “Love Letters” to Scotland
Using an 1898 Agfa field camera and specially made photographic plates, Thomas Joshua Cooper creates extraordinary, meditative landscape photographs printed with selenium-toned silver gelatin. Each work begins as a location found on a map, which Cooper then exhaustively researches and tracks down. Composing only outdoors, he captures each site in a single exposure, stressing the “made” and “built” quality of each print over its documentary or snapshot elements. In his ongoing “Atlas Project” (1989-), Cooper charts the extremities of land in the Atlantic Basin, from South Africa and Scandinavia to the Arctic, Antarctica, and South America. “These accumulative picture-spaces could be anywhere or everywhere,” he says. “Yet the collective results that continue to drive, inform, and complete the Atlas may well tell us something about a more difficult and allusive territory of human concern.” Cooper cites among his influences Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and Robert Frank.
American, b. 1946, San Francisco, California, based in Glasgow, United Kingdom