by S. Peace Nistades
Nature and the Arts have always had a strong connection, an almost mystical bond that ties the exterior to the interior, the windswept silhouette of a lone mountaintop tree to the internal struggle of a man on a pilgrimage. It is as if they are opposite sides of a river’s rippling surface, one gazing inwards, the other outwards, one’s reflection deepening into the other, morphing and transforming until the lines blur between one and the other.
And with the birth of photography, the paradigm shifted. Now what once could only be captured through an impression, a likeness of, could now be captured exactly. What once was accepted as an interpretation now became the Truth. The question of documentary vs. fiction, authenticity vs. emotional truth rose to the fore. What is Truth in an image? Is there such a thing as objective Truth in art? Art which, after all, arises, out of a singular point of view. Art which is the lenses by which we measure the world around us and our experience of it, the lengths between cause and effect, past and present, what is here, what is to come, the distances, the closeness, the inseparability; the framing of our narrative. Every great photographer captures with his or her own choice of angle, framing and lighting the emotional impression of a place and mythologizes it for the viewer just as a painter has done before him, capturing in a single shot both the Truth and the myth, the exact place and time and the timeless. Freddie Ardley’s photography, in particular his collection from the Himalayas, captures what is both mythic and true in all of us.
Ardley’s photography embodies this essential humanity, the connection we have to the world around us, our indelible connection to space and time, our place in nature, our place in history. His photography puts us both in our place and enlarges the scope of our struggles, our triumphs, our humility to fill the horizon, the mountain peaks framed within the wooden doors that house our perception. His passion for the diversity of landscapes and cultures have led him to shoot in so many locations around the world from Cumbria and Northumberland in his native UK to the forests of Normandy, France, to Florence, Milan, Singapore, the Middle East, and of course, the Himalayas and Mount Everest.
He is currently staff photographer for Citizen Magazine as well as portrait photographer for designer Ethan K since 2014 and has had photography on display with Hahnemuehle in both the UK and Germany in 2016.
My passion for creative expression comes from the incredible diversity of landscapes on Earth. Where we begin and where we die is with the Earth. There is a profound beauty in the realisation that the atoms we are made of were forged in the heart of stars, and I think this connection to the space and time around us is incredibly powerful, and an incredibly human experience.
Staff Photographer Citizen Magazine (Launched 2019) - citizen-mag.org
“Citizen Magazine is a new, quarterly magazine, which reflects the principles and mission of the London School of Architecture - to allow people living in cities to have more fulfilled and sustainable lives.
The magazine is put together by a team of highly-experienced and award-winning editors, journalists and designers with contributions from leaders at the forefront of policy, finance, development, architecture, urbanism and academia as well from students and staff from the LSA.”
Portrait Photographer Ethan K (2014 - Present) - harrods.com/ethan-k
I have worked around the world for Ethan, producing striking portraiture for himself and his clients. This has involved photographing manufacturing in Singapore, to the skilled artisans of Italy where the bags are produced. Works photographed for Ethan have been published with Harrods, Tatler Hong Kong, South China Morning Post, Town & Country etc.
Book Project (Co-Writer & Photographer) Seoul South Korea, September - October 2019
French Interiors Part II France, August - September 2019
Commissions for Citizen Magazine London, May -June 2019
Forests of Normandy France, April 2019
Cumbria & Northumberland UK, Feb 2019
French Interiors Part I France, June-July 2018
Ethan K (Musee d'Orsay, The Ritz, The Ledoyen) France, Sept 2017
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc: Ethan K South of France, Aug 2017
Singapore: Ethan K Singapore, February 2017
Florence: Ethan K Italy, December 2016
Photokina 2016 Germany, Work on display with Hahnemuehle
The Photography Show 2016 NEC, UK, Work on display with Hahnemuehle UK
Italian Cityscapes Milan, July 2015
Spring in the Middle East Dubai & Abu Dhabi, April 2015
Pintora Fine Art Exhibition London, 16th - 23rd March 2015
New World Architecture and the Middle East Dubai, Abu Dhabi & the Mountains of Oman, February & March 2015
The Himalayas & Mount Everest Nepal, August 2011