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Solitary Life 2005

Alex Hartley (born 1963, West Byfleet, England, UK)

This is one of a series of large-format photographs that the artist has taken in remote locations around the world. All desolate views, each has a detailed architectural model built in relief on the surface. Hartley is exploring '... the idea of how people crave the notion of being able to be alone in the wilderness and to build this perfect place away from everyone else. It's a Utopian dream, yet it's also a divisive way to build, impractical and socially removed.' Solitary Life is both a real and imagined location. The work was based on a trip Hartley took to the Arctic in 2004. At Kinnvika he found the wooden cabins built in 1957 for the Scandinavian and Swiss scientists who worked there. Zero humidity prevented deterioration and ensured that each was preserved exactly as it was left. The work has strong resonances with Dundee's history of Arctic whaling expeditions and Discovery's research expedition to the Antarctic.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from Victoria Miro, London, 2008
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland 2007-2010 operated by the Scottish Arts Council.
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