Rankin unveils 'An Exploding World': His experience of isolated creativity through nature
Following on from the success of his publication ‘Embrace’, renowned photographer Rankin unveils his latest publication ‘An Exploding World’.
The new book journeys both the artist’s personal struggle and the collective challenges faced in the midst of multiple lockdowns, expressing a sense of the isolated periods through a series of nature photography.
In a second partnership with luxury paper specialist Fedrigoni and creative agency SEA, Rankin materialises an artist’s expression of mental health by exploring a relic of his childhood - the dandelion - combusting over time as an illustration of his wellbeing.
“For years now, I’ve been obsessed with the perfection of a dandelion seed head. Seen as weeds, they grow absolutely everywhere, especially in the city. And during a time of great stress, there was comfort in them. They continued to emerge, regardless of how out of control the world felt.Through this project, I was able to embrace working alone and take back control. Using natural imagery I could explore my own anxieties.” - Rankin
Renowned for his portrait and fashion photography, Rankin was forced to find a way to create without face-to-face interaction, and so the portrait photographer turned to nature for this series.
A striking representation of the emotional impact of Covid-19, ‘An Exploding World’ is a commercial publication celebrating the freedom creativity allows artists to explore their wellbeing through the tangible.
Rankin cites this follow-up as an artefact of embracing working alone and taking back a sense of control that lockdown imposed on creatives. Under the jurisdiction of isolation, the photographer was left frustrated but exploited the time it gave him to convey his feelings through nature imagery.
“When fire burns through a forest, the old-growth burns away to allow space for a new forest to emerge. Through burning these dandelions I was clearing space mentally. Finding a new outlet for my creativity. I think most photographers will photograph flowers at some point in their career, and it became incredibly fulfilling to work alone studiously and hone my craft in a way I hadn’t in years.” - Rankin
Fedrigoni UK hosted An Evening with Rankin, a Q&A with the photographer and founder of SEA, Bryan Edmondson. Bringing together a private audience of the creative community on the evening of 16th of June, where Fedrigoni encouraged invitees to use this time to reflect on their experience of the then and now—painting a mural of people’s feelings through Sirio Color paper.
Simon Pilkington, managing director of Fedrigoni UK commented: “Our alliance with Rankin and SEA has been a true demonstration of the creative ecosystem working in harmony. When it was time to collaborate again, we were very proud our materials could contribute to such a personal and introspective project for Rankin. Seeing the powerful and vulnerable imagery, a metaphor for mental health, be brought to life in this book is something we feel honoured to be a part of.”
Bryan Edmondson, founder and creative director of SEA added: “Each of the books we produce together aims to be different. Different in layout, typography and format however there is one thing in common - keep the images big, simple and beautiful. It's all about the images and how we can play with editorial design using the wide platform of Fedrigoni papers. Type has to work with image and the choice of font is key along with the paper. Having the continued creative support of Fedrigoni is vital, they see value in the work and collaborate closely with the choice of paper from early design stages to print proofs.”
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