David Robinson | Wonderland
19 SEPTEMBER – 11 NOVEMBER 2003
During the past 4 years, David Robinson has documented a diverse selection of some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations such as Florida’s Holy Land experience, Legoland in Windsor and the Costa del Sol. Each destination is deliberately chosen for its unique western character – a choice which magnifies the man-made structures and parks dominating over the surrounding natural landscape.
Robinson is also inspired by global tourism where tourists are steered towards taking pictures of set-up picture sites and places or what he calls ‘microcultures’. Robinson reveals a more exaggerated scenery assisted by his intense useof saturated colour panoramic film – giving the illusion of a surreal and dream like landscape.
Robinson’s familiarity and perception of most popular locations has been shaped only by what we are programmed to expect through the media such as magazines, television and the movies. The resulting photographs, act as testament to the shrinking planet and global culture like trophies and proof
of their existence.
David Robinson has long been interested in the landscape of simulation and has articulated its metaphorical dimension before. His 1999/2000 series of golfers posed at the tees as full-length renaissance portraits swapped out the roman campagna for an implausibly green northern Irish hillside. Wonderland with its scarcely populated landscapes of entertainment goes further in asking the question: what kind of construct am I in the middle of a nature that I continually mediate?
Robinson’s landscapes are pleasure-provoking vistas in an era of mind-numbing labour; our worldview pressed through a sieve of tourism, where leisure has squeezed out all the space in the imagination that nature once held.
Extract by Andrew Gellatly from Wonderland foreword.