Darren Almond was born in Wigan (U.K.) in 1971. He lives and works in London (U.K.)
Over the past quarter-century, Darren Almond has used an ever-widening range of formal gambits – including sculpture, video, photography and painting – to address the relationship between the individual and the systems and structures that surround us, both manmade and natural. He may be best known for his Fullmoon photographs (2000–), which use long exposure and the light of the full moon to flood nocturnal landscapes with an uncanny almost-daylight. In travelling the globe to make these works, which transform nature into otherness – a shadow version of our imperilled planet, emptied of people – Almond creates a kind of dream space to reflect within, hitching ourselves to the moon and its rhythms. Elsewhere, he has explored humanity’s domineering tendencies in artworks that begin from the local and expand outwards to the histories and human costs of industry, from a video tracing his father’s history of industrial accidents to films, photographs and more exploring the global ramifications of mining: traversing Arctic landscapes polluted by nickel mining, or following Indonesian sulphur miners into the hellish depths, or circling around the industrial slaughter of the Holocaust and its own relation to extraction.
Alongside all this, appropriately, Almond has set a clock perpetually ticking; since the outset of his career he’s used the constructed system of time and numbers as exemplary of hubristic attempts at control, at scales from that of the clock-punching worker to the nature of reality itself. From his extended series of clocks as kinetic sculptures to his recent, ever-diversifying sequences of number-based paintings, Almond contrasts the fixity of numbers and binary thinking with the vast unknowability that lies behind them, one that finds a parallel expression in his latter-day paintings ‘of’ deep space, whose speculative clusters of stars most likely, due to the dwarfing majesty of the universe, have real-life analogues somewhere out there. To consider Almond’s practice is to move literally from the personal to the universal and back again; to see what humanity has wrought upon its home, and to be offered a meditative pause for considering how things might be different.