Tim Simmons

Hawaii Lava Box, England, 2003

C-type print mounted on diasec, 182x265 cm

Courtesy of the artist

“The altered landscape as sublime” is the way David Brittain, Research Associate at, Miried Manchester Metropolitan University, describes Simmons photographs. Carefully composed photographs sometimes described as ‘uncanny’ (S. Freud) that ought to have remained secret and hidden but have come to light.The subject matter and mode of representation of Simmons’s unsettling images are uncertain: nature seems estranged and unfamiliar, while the images obstinately refuse to declare their ontology or true nature.

Simmons documents nature, or rather ‘humanature’ to use a neologism coined by the photographer Peter Goin. Goin uses it to describe a hybrid terrain of natural and man-made features such as artificial lights, plantations, landscape design and so on. Settings of such altered landscapes began to emerge after the Second World War with the development of new suburbs, expressways, theme parks and airports. [...]

. . . things such as these persuade us that nature carries on its cycles regardless of human activities – and always will. Yet, a closer look reveals that all around us nature is becoming an illusion created by human ingenuity. As we control our rivers and shores, manage the forests, and develop habitats for endangered species, it becomes increasingly hard to think of nature as something ‘out there’ that exists independently of us.”