Artwork in Our Offices
The artwork in four of our meeting rooms was produced by the photographic artists Anderson & Low.
About the artists
Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have been collaborating as “Anderson & Low” since 1990. Their work includes portraiture, architectural studies, abstract images, reportage, nudes, and landscape and is noted for attention to concept, form, lighting, and printing. They have been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. Their work is exhibited world-wide, residing in many public and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, National Portrait Galleries of both the UK and Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Australia, and now Payne Hicks Beach.
Voyages was first exhibited in the UK at the Science Museum in 2017 and later in the US at the George Eastman Museum in New York closing in January 2020. The pictures depict ships models from the Science Museum Group’s collection of historical models, re-imagined to give them a hazy, romantic quality, reminiscent of paintings by J. M. W. Turner.
The model ships at the heart of the exhibition were displayed for almost half a century before the museum’s Shipping Galleries were decommissioned in 2012.The models have been subject to careful conservation over the intervening years and Anderson and Low took the unusual step of viewing them through the slightly opaque sheeting used to protect them from dust and degeneration. Creating images of the models this way, the sheeting acted like a prism to reveal how the models contained inner dramas which were just waiting to be discovered.
The resulting images look almost like paintings and as Anderson and Low explained “push the boundaries of what a photograph is supposed to do.” Rather than represent photography as a purely representational art, or as an instrument to examine the detailed structures of these models, they have transformed the medium into a means to enthral, beguile and enchant. These may be images of old model ships, but they conjure up evocative new narratives: dramas about storm-tossed journeys through vast seascapes, epic tales of voyages to strange lands, and stories of legendary vessels that loom from ominous fogs. Anderson & Low commented that their Voyages exhibition is about “…using one’s imagination and sharpening one’s senses, and that if one does this, then one can find magic everywhere. One of the singular parallels in the history of science and art is that one can look at the world in a different way, and re-imagine what it might be.”
They also cited Turner – “I paint what I see, not what I know to be there” – and eminent physicist William Bragg who declared: “The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.”
In 2018 Anderson & Low received the Mountbatten Award for the book Voyages from the British Maritime Foundation, which was presented them by the First Lord of the Admiralty. The Foundation cited the "entirely original and unique interpretation of model ships, which is without precedent. A significant addition to visual depictions of seafaring, bringing shipping and seafaring to a new audience. It engages classical ideas of seafaring from all the arts, showing a magical inner life for these models. A quite extraordinary feat of imagination and execution"
Modern Interior Architecture
The artwork from this series includes six abstract images shot in striking black and white, of modern architectural interiors. The buildings names are not given, and the images focus on details rather than the entire structures. The images are derived from architecture, but are not architectural photography in the normal sense. They are more like architectural imaginings, aspirations, ephemera. As a result, these images become flights of fancy – buildings that might exist, rather than actual structures.
Here the form and detail is taken beyond the normal, reducing these images, to a greater or lesser extent, to a series of abstract forms. This process is taken to an extreme, almost philosophical level; the term abstraction is therefore doubly appropriate as the word implies not only abstract shapes in the visual arts, but also the forming of general ideas and principals from concrete examples - the process of developing concepts from experience.
Images from the series received a gold medal from the Association of Photographers.
We have eight images of iconic buildings from London and around the world including what is probably the seminal art image of Battersea Power Station, the original of which is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
In many ways, a building is similar to a person, in that it has specific character that can be portrayed in a host of different ways. A particular viewpoint or lighting effect can change the emphasis of the picture completely. It is up to the artist to decide on the best approach and to plan the image accordingly, bearing in mind the effect and qualities of natural light on subject and form. The final image should capture the essence of the building as opposed to just its look.
The result is a series of highly subjective images, where the approach to composition and printing is designed to show what the building feels like, not just what it looks like.
Images from this series have been exhibited extensively throughout the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Battersea Power Station
Houses of Parliament
Empire State Building
Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
Sydney Opera House
Temple, Nara, Japan
In 2015 Anderson & Low were invited to create a special art project around the making of the James Bond film Spectre. Shot at Pinewood studios this project focused on the extraordinary, gargantuan and detailed sets created for the film. The sets, photographed completely devoid of people, are revealed in their magnificence, their obsessive detail and their vast scale. The drama of the film is implied rather than explicitly depicted. And above all there is recurrent tension between the fantasy world of the movie sets versus the reality of the sound stages where these extraordinary edifices have been created.
Five prints from this project were released at the time of the film premiere in November 2015. The remainder of the project was premiered in an exhibition at Camera Work, Berlin in June 2016, to coincide with the publication of Anderson & Low's monograph book On the Set of James Bond's Spectre, published by Hatje Cantz. Work from the series has been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
We have four works from this collection on display:-
Oberhauser’s Control Room – Morocco
Oberhauser’s Observatory – Morocco
Palazzo – Rome
Q’s Workshop – London