And they did live by watchfires
pigment print on paper, various sizes
installed at Nocturnes, Grey Noise, Dubai (2020)
This project explores light pollution, specifically skyglow, as an eco-marker of humanity's unbridled global population growth and subsequent effects on the environment. Today over half the world's population live in cities. According to research from the UN, by 2050 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities. Focusing on this exponential anthropogenic growth, Whelan has been documenting urban densification using analogue large format photography. From an array of locations and elevations, he focuses on the abstract visual gradient caused by the artificial light refracting in the night sky. The light sources themselves are excluded from the image, focusing only on the effects. Abstraction becomes a tool for accessibility and contemplation.