Presenting Matt Mahdavi
Matt Mahdavi is a photographer working in South West England. He is a graduate of The Arts University at Bournemouth and has been an art practitioner for ten years, finding his passion of photography about five years ago. This week I would like to present some of his recent work in an ongoing series titled Campfires.
What initially struck me about this series is Mahdavi's quizzical approach to the work which is reflected in the imagery. Growing up in Dartmoor National Park, free from intense light pollution, he tells me he has always had a fascination with stars and the night. When he moved to Bournemouth in 2011 the jarring change from the quiet, subtle darkness to the orange glow and constant hums of town was not only fascinating, but a growing comfort. The title Campfires lends itself well to this duality; visually emphasising light pollution as an under-addressed issue, but also referencing light as a source of comfort and protection, in much the same way as a small campfire.
These photographs grapple with the complexity of this duality, ranging from night time landscapes and skyscapes, to more abstract images; reflecting a variety of emotions. In some images the hazy glow of light is a beacon in the dark, in others it implies a place to be avoided.
Mahdavi has been working on this project for three years, and plans to continue. He hopes to travel, extending the work around the world by seeking out the most heavily light polluted cities. He advocates a scientific movement in tangent with photography in order to better question and express the effects of this phenomenon as well as others facing the human populous.
To see more of Mahdavi's work, including a preview of his new series 1000 Yellow Windows, please visit his website at matthewmahdavi.co.uk. Additionally, to view several satellite data global maps depicting light pollution, please visit The Earth Observation Group's Night Lights in Google Maps through website at blue-marble/nightlights/.