Phoebe Kiely, They were my landscape (MACK, 2018)
Oscillating between the banal and the profound, They were my landscape is a collection of black and white photographs that echo the fragility of human life. Phoebe Kiely devotes her lens to the overlooked nooks, spoiled surfaces and daily detritus of urban environments to build a serendipitous landscape of an anonymous place. As we drift through her mutable world of fleeting shadows and scintillating reflections, we witness seductive moments in prosaic spectacles: refracted light cast on a concrete corner, shimmering foil in a shop window, the fractal patterns of leafless trees, or the mottled residue of bubbles on a glass façade. And now and then, glimpses of people – homeless, commuting, or standing unnervingly still – enter the book’s elusive sequence. For Kiely, there is no underlying rule or unswerving direction: life is as chaotic as it is mundane, as disruptive as it is calm. If her book reflects a universal experience, it is one that – as the slanting views of gritty tower blocks reveal – is seen through the singular view and local environs of this remarkable young British photographer.
Open spine paperback with dustjacket, 98 pages
They were my landscape is published by MACK and released May 2018. An essay on Kiely's book, written by Darren Campion, appears in Paper Journal 01.
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