Michael John Whelan
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And they did live by watchfires
Nocturne
Untitled
Darkness had no need
These last breaths
In the black dark for good
Carapace
That we were to wait
Like force and matter
Only in
Lupus
20 Vertices, 30 Edges
and 160 Diagonals

In Embers (Dodecahedron)
Dune
Transit of Venus
Over the echoing gateway
Stars/Star
Shadowplay
Archway (diptych)
Nocturne
2020
7 x mounted polaroids
37 x 30cm ea.
(1/3) Next




As part of his ongoing exploration of our complex and questionable relationship to the natural world, Whelan has photographed non-human subjects affected by overpopulation and errant light pollution. Using a polaroid film that has long been discontinued, access to otherwise inaccessible spaces was made possible. For 'Nocturne 1', a series of black and white polaroids were made inside a bat enclosure in Vienna. In a tenebristic fashion, the artificially constructed environment appears out of the darkness: hand modelled walls replicating stone, fruit is stuck to a branch, a CCTV camera is hidden in the shadows. During each exposure dozens of bats passed before the lens. Even with the high speed film, their presence is ephemeral, reflecting the precarious sustainability of nature itself.