Exquisite beauty is an unworthy description of the visual power and extremity of Almond and Quinn’s work; their images’ hyper-perfection challenges the very boundaries of cognition to address abstract themes of time’s infinite dimension, the fleeting transience of existence, and the fragility of the human condition. Adopting traditional genres of landscape and still life, the subject of nature in their photographs, paintings, and sculptures, becomes an aberrant construction, measured through the artificial instruments of technology, morality and cultural idealism.
Almond’s landscape photographs transpose romanticized wilderness scenes to the realm of the supranatural. His geography is sourced from the far-flung reaches of fantasy – the exotic outposts of art history’s mythology made famous by the likes of Friedrich, Cezanne, Turner, and Hongren; or non-places – such as Antarctica and Siberia – which loom at the fringes of collective consciousness.
For Almond’s ongoing Full Moon series, his arduous excursions to these remote locations are dictated by lunar pull. Each image was shot during the peak of the moon’s cycle — the precise place and moment, imbued with mysticism and ritual, is captured in prolonged exposure, collapsing space and time with an eerie ambience of predestination.
Quinn’s practice poignantly articulates the liminal spaces between life and death, the physical and metaphysical, supreme beauty and silent unnamable horror. In Quinn’s still life paintings, memento mori portent gives way to the spell of instant gratification: fruits and florae rendered with too-immaculate finish, their exotic bounty epitomizes pornographic temptation. Through the meticulous presentation, materiality, and detail of his works, the pinnacles of artistry become conveyors of vanitas, bridging the gulf between unattainable desire and longing and its luxurious, bitter sweet sublimation. His accompanying flower sculptures similarly dazzle with their strange virtuality, their exquisite ephemerality implausibly immortalized in bronze.