Photofusion Member: Nick Dykes
Drops of rain that land upon the tight knot of his scarf run together down his front; down the sodden, matted weave of his saturated overcoat; flow down at last upon his heavy boots, and run by turns to earth, over scuffed caps, to join the muddied waters of the stream below.
Trampling briars, whose razor thorns attack his flesh, he staggers up the rolling bank to seize the view. Up here, his simple tools humped upon his back, the Mapmaker stands out against the darkening sky.
‘Facts. Hard facts,’ he mutters. ‘There’s nothing worth knowing but facts… I’ll take a reading here.’
The wind picks up, leans hard upon the trees, and drives deep shadows cast across the ground…
In this ongoing series a fictional mapmaker goes out into the landscape to take ‘readings’ from which to create his maps and charts. The photographs are the results of his research, created by flagging or tracing around natural features with a mirror so that the mapmaker’s scientific approach is reconciled with natural chance.
The titles describe what he’s measured or recorded, from the location of a feature, to a sound, a wind or a thought. And most of the time his efforts are successful, but sometimes the elements conspire against him or he makes a mistake, and the readings don’t come out as he would like.
After reading Classics at Oxford University Nick taught himself photography as an ideal means through which to explore his interests. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy and other venues in London, and his pictures are held in a number of private collections. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.