Hamish Fulton

Nature is the source of my art and the art is a form of passive protest against the dominance of urban life. I'm curious about the wilderness not the metropolis.

London born photographer Hamish Fulton is known as the “walking artist.” He walks through forests, deserts, and mountains around the world capturing the essence of his walks with photos and text. He has walked through France, Italy, Mexico, the United States, Bolivia, India, Nepal, and many other countries.

The walks are a sort of meditation. Fulton goes alone and only pulls out his camera for a shot if the feeling is right. In an interview with Robin White at Crown Point Press he said, “When I take a photograph and I’m feeling good, and I’m looking through the camera and I’m seeing the view and knowing that’s the place I want to record, then I feel that is a work.” He isn’t a landscape photographer in the sense that he is capturing the image of a beautiful scene. He is incorporating a moment into a photograph. He only prints the pictures taken in a good state of mind.

On his website, Fulton declares “An artwork may be purchased/but a walk cannot be sold.” His walks embody a philosophy of art. They can last from a few days to weeks or months. He often determines the time by moon cycles; he starts and ends many walks on the full moon. Fulton uses text to round out the picture. “When you’re taking a photograph, something else could be happening; maybe there’s noise in the background, a bird is flying across or the wind is blowing in your eyes. That’s unrecorded in the photograph so in the text I try to bring in things that are not available to the medium of photography.” Fulton’s text informs us where the picture was taken, how long the walk was, the season, and the year.

Working with Crown Point Press in 1982, Fulton used text alone (without a photograph) for Porcupine. The walk inspiring Porcupine was “A seven day walk in North Eastern California/Ending on the night of the October full moon 1981.” The three-paneled aquatint and softground etching describes snowy nights with black bear footprints and pine needles.

Born in 1946, Hamish Fulton studied at St. Martin’s School of Art from 1966 through 1968 and attended the Royal College of Art and Hammersmith College of Art. Starting with painting and sculpture, Fulton was drawn to photography because of the mobility of the camera. His first solo exhibition was in 1969 at the Galerie Konrad Fischer in Dusseldorf, Germany. Since then, he has shown at the Anchorage Museum of Art and History, Anchorage, Alaska; the Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano, Italy; the Museums of Modern Art in Oxford, England and in Wakayama, Japan; the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; and many other museums. He is represented by Maureen Paley in London.

-Hana Haber, Crown Point Press

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