Fascinated by the notion of time and its representation, Almond’s diverse body of work incorporates film, drawing, installation, sculpture and photography. His subjects are as diverse as clocks, train plates and bus shelters. They reveal feelings about the passage of time, themes of personal and historical memory, movement and space.
Fifteen years ago, the artist initiated an experiment, which he called Fifteen Minute Moon. This became the starting point to an ongoing series of works, now known as Fullmoon photographs. They represent a transversal part of his entire body of work. Almond travels around the world to find new angles and the photographs he brings back contain deep references to the painting, without ever referring to it directly. The artist uses the landscape to reveal a notion of time and of reality.
Almond often travels to inaccessible locations, sometimes related to major events in History or to personal memories. He takes his photographs at night: the only source of light is the full moon. The landscape becomes visible by using extended exposure of time and turns a dark night into a light day, often appearing ghostly.
A starting point for the photograph Fullmoon@Porto Mosquito was Charles Darwin’s epic voyage of the Beagle in the 1830s. Darwin’s first port of call was Cape Verde, the volcanic, equatorial archipelago off the coast of West Africa. The Fullmoon shot was taken there, the same place where Darwin had his first tropical island experience, where he encountered the geological severity of the volcanic formations. It was the starting place of the inspirational trip that concluded years later with The Origin of the Species, a book which went on to eradicate creationist theory through fact.
Works from Almond’s new series of paintings – featuring horizontally divided numbers arranged into a potential infinitude of numeric combinations – remind us of how confusing arrays of numbers, from financial systems to the human genome to the positions of the stars, underscore every aspect of our lives: yet, uniting into a system by which we might be able to comprehend our place in the scheme of things.
His installations called Perfect Time feature several digital clocks and record simultaneously the passage of time. They don’t give us the time, the numbers being divided as in his paintings, but they show us different temporalities. By changing regularly, they reveal that time is actually a process, the title being an ironic reference to the fact that there is no “perfect hour”.
Darren Almond was born 1971 in Wigan, UK. He lives and works in London. His solo exhibitions include Site Festival, Stroud (2012); Château Gallery, Domaine Régional de Chaumont-sur-Loire; Villa Merkel, Esslingen, L’Abbaye de la Chaise Dieu, Chaise Dieu; Frac Haute-Normandie, Rouen and FRAC Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand (2011); Parasol Unit, London (2008); SITE Santa Fe (2007); Museum Folkwang, Essen (2006); K21, Düsseldorf (2005); Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2003); Tate Britain, London, Kunsthalle Zurich, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (all 2001) and The Renaissance Society, Chicago (1999).
Almond has participated in numerous important group exhibitions including Museum Folkwang, Essen, Israel Museum, Jerusalem (both 2012); Hangar a Bananes, Nantes; L’Etoffe du Temps L’Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux; National Museum of Art of Monte Carlo, Monaco; Centre Culturel Valery-Larbaud, Vichy, Helmhaus, Zurich, 6thCuritiba Biennale and Miami Art Museum (all 2011), MAC/VAL, Vitry-sûr-Seine, (2010), Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009), and Frac Lorraine, Metz (2009); Albertina Museum, Vienna (2008), Moscow Biennale, ICA, Philadelphia, and Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens (2007), MCA, Chicago (2005), The Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2005), The Busan Biennale (2004); La Collección Jumex, Mexico City, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, and Venice Biennale (2003), Berlin Biennale (2001), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turino (1999) and ‘Sensation’ (1997-1999): Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London.