Darcy White

Northern Lights


Output: Other

This body of work investigating photography in the Northern Landscape consists of two book chapters, two book editorials, and two exhibition co-curations. This research seeks to understand how such photography functions within the global economy of the early 21st century.

White founded the Northern Light: contemporary landscape photography research group in 2015 and co-convened its biennial conference (2016 & 2018), each with an accompanying photography exhibition. Both conferences and exhibitions attracted international participants, providing a discursive forum through the research disseminated. Two collections of essays emerged from the conferences, ‘Northern Light: Landscape, Photography and Evocations of the North’ and ‘Proximity and Distance in Northern Landscape Photography: Contemporary Criticism, Curation and Practice’, for which White was both co-editor and co-author of introductory essays.

To achieve this output White selected academics, photographers, curators and archivists to write essays that address urgent questions concerning environmental degradation, globalisation and consumerism in northern Europe, the Nordic countries, northern England, Scotland, and Canada.

Each essay collection contains an archival research-based chapter in which White critiques much recent landscape representation as abdicating responsibility in the face of environmental catastrophe, as avoiding history and context in favour of depicting pristine places. Such work seeks out apparently untouched places
of remote regions but refuses a meaningful critical engagement with the circumstances of 21st century global crisis. White’s chapters, ‘Wanderings through the fog: Axel Hütte and the German landscape tradition re-imagined’ and, ‘Rethinking Space in the landscapes of Nordic cuisine’, explore the role of the north in the geopolitics of environmental catastrophe.

These works were published by Transcript Verlag and distributed through Columbia University Press: Goldie, C. & White, D. (2018) ‘Northern Light: Landscape, Photography and Evocations of the North’, and White, D., & Goldie, C. (2020). ‘Proximity and Distance in Northern Landscape Photography Contemporary Criticism, Curation, and Practice’.

Research Output

This collection of images displays the outputs from this project. 

Due to restrictions, this project does not have a full submission available to view. However, please feel free to check out other projects from this author.

Research Method

White, with colleagues, initiated an exploration of the ways in which photographic images have addressed notions of a Northern landscape, from a global perspective. From the outset a key aim was to facilitate a dialogue between theoretical approaches and photographic practice.

Key Methodologies:

Full Project Output

REF '21

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