Powerful signatures in the landscape


David R Abrams is touring the country with a talk about his unusual photographic work that has always sold out. On Thursday February 22 he will be in Rye at the Community Centre (7.30pm) talking about his work and the pictures from his book Aerial Atlas of Ancient Britain and tickets are selling fast.

He is a Welsh photographer and writer based on the border of Somerset and Wiltshire, and creates large-scale prints of prehistoric sites and their landscapes, shot from above, which he describes as: “Painterly in tone and tending towards abstraction, my work explores notions of liminality, the sublime and sense of place.”

Aerial drone photography

When did you get into photography?
At the age of five. It has continued to fascinate me ever since. For the last eleven years I have been using drones to capture my images. I was a photographer, writer and film-maker in the travel sector but when Covid struck I lost my job. The photography I do now came about as a personal project that I was interested in and it gained momentum and took off. I create very big panels by stitching lots of images together which can take days to produce.

Silbury Sunrise Winter Top Down

How did your book come about?
I was posting lots of my photos on Instagram during lockdown and Thames and Hudson, the publishers, approached me to ask if I would do a book with them. The book helped the project to snowball. I purchased a van with the bounce-back loan and set off to capture more images, covering many that I had always wanted to do but had not had the time. The weather was kind and I had the most wonderful time. The book has sold extraordinarily well and this led onto my touring with a presentation of my photos around Britain. The audiences always cry and always laugh and it is always a moving experience for me.

What sort of images do you produce?
I was already taking aerial photos and I was just interested in abstraction. I hit upon the idea of doing prehistoric sites as I already had an interest in that field. I had studied visual anthropology and all these strands snapped together in one and I had my direction. I do abstract pictures but also pictures of the sites to show their relationship with the landscape. That’s what the show is about: the relationship between the sites; the monuments that our ancestors created in the land, usually through earthworks and stones; and how they relate to the topography, often revealing landscapes that have either been overlayered or destroyed. That’s where the poignant aspect of the talk comes in because it makes people more aware of the landscape they inhabit and it deepens people’s connection with where they live.

Find out more and book your tickets here


Image Credits: David R Abrams .

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