Fermynwoods Friday 15 – Intervention (Projected)

Intervention (Projected) was a series of Tim Simmons‘ stunning photographs of landscapes from around the world, projected at nighttime in a slow and meditative loop, on a 20ft screen erected in Fermyn Woods during 2010.

Finding synergy with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Tim was aiming to reach people that would perhaps not normally have access to art. The resulting nights saw members of the public, forest rangers, staff from the nearby Skylark cafe, a chartered surveyor, a fire man, and a future Maths teacher gather in front of the photographs around an open fire.

Tim’s ethereal landscapes were captured using a large format camera and artificial lighting, to accentuate detail in the landscape that natural light does not. The resulting images had a surreal, otherworldly quality. Familiar, but beyond obvious recognition. My favourites, closeups of rock pools in Iceland magnified and back lit, appeared as views from a plane window hovering over a strange planet.

The title Intervention (Projected) was a literal statement but also an opportunity to project our own meanings on to the images. Part of the intimate audience was my brother who had made his way to Fermyn Woods after recently travelling around the world for several years. Clearly the work and the contemplative setting was allowing us to project our own narratives onto the scene.

Tim aims to “encourage a different way of looking at and thinking about landscape” and examines “how subtle changes to our expectations of a place alter our perceptions of it”. Before Fermynwoods became known for infiltrating the everyday, our strap line was “beyond the confines of the gallery wall”. Tim’s images examined the multilayered relationship we have with our surroundings. Re-embedding the photographs within the natural world elicited both a visceral response and quiet reflection. The otherworldly quality was as present in the photographs as it was in the woods.

James Steventon

Iceland - Pingviller Moss Pond - Tim Simmons
Image: Iceland – Pingviller Moss Pond, Tim Simmons

Look out for more Fermynwoods Friday posts each week looking back on some of our favourite projects over the past 20 years.