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For over thirty five years, British born Michael Kenna has been looking at landscapes in ways quite out of the ordinary. His mysterious photographs, often made at dawn or in the dark hours of night, concentrate primarily on the interaction between the ephemeral atmospheric conditions of the natural landscape, and human-made structures and sculptural mass. Kenna is both a diurnal and nocturnal photographer, fascinated by times of day when light is at its most pliant. Using non digital equipment, his night time exposures can last up to ten hours, and his photographs often record details that the human eye is not able to perceive.
Kenna's intimate, exquisitely hand crafted black and white photographic prints reflect a sense of refinement, respect for history, and thorough originality. They have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums throughout the world and are included in such permanent collections as The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; The Shanghai Art Museum; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Over forty books and catalogs have been published on Kenna's work.
The photographs are quite beautiful, but I am saddened by the light pollution that seems to disrupt what should be the peaceful night at Mont Saint Michel. Several of the pictures show the glare from the mainland and the brilliant illumination of the Mont itself. It is many years since I saw Mont Saint Michel, and I wonder if the stars are ever visible now, or if everything is lost in a constant haze of artificial light.
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