Hamish Fulton

No Darkness


Not on display

Hamish Fulton born 1946
Photograph, black and white, on paper and transfer lettering
Image: 1372 × 1099 mm
Purchased 1980

Catalogue entry

P07382 NO DARKNESS 1979

Not inscribed
Black and white photograph and letraset mounted on paper, 54 × 43 1/2 (137.2 × 109.9)
Purchased from the Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Exh: Art Anglais d'Aujourd'hui (Collection Tate Gallery, Londres), Musée Rath, Geneva, July–September 1980 (6, repr.); Medunarodna Izložba Likovnik Umetnosti Beograd'80, Muzej Savremene Umetnosti, Belgrade, October–December 1980 (Fulton 3, repr.)

This account is based on an interview with the artist (15 May 1980). It has been approved by him.

'No Darkness’ resulted from a walk Fulton undertook when he went to Iceland in 1979 with the artist Roger Ackling. Fulton accords equal importance to the photographs and texts he combines in his work, and here the printed text beneath the photograph supplies details about the location and duration of the walk, ‘A COASTAL WALK IN NORTH WEST ICELAND, HOLMAVIK TO HOLMAVIK June 5–12 1979’, and also records his observations about aspects of the landscape which are not shown in the photograph.

In conversation with the compiler the artist said that the words SOFT GROUND, situated directly below the image, refer specifically to the area of ground he had chosen to photograph, where an apparently hard surface proved to be soft and yielded easily underfoot. In a more general sense, the phrase relates to the particular time of year, when the ice was beginning to melt and the ground softening in the thaw. Printed in larger type, the work's title, NO DARKNESS is a reference to Iceland's proximity to the Arctic Circle, where the nights remain light during the Spring and Summer months. TRACKS OF THE ARCTIC FOX indicates that in this area these were the only tracks made by a living creature Fulton saw apart from his own footprints, and LATE SPRING refers to the late thaw that particular year - Fulton noted that large blocks of ice were floating in some of the coastal inlets.

The phrase DRIFTWOOD FROM SIBERIA relates to a local talking point in that part of Iceland, the fact that much of the driftwood which collected along the coast had been washed across the Arctic Ocean from Siberia. (Its origin was established by the Russian words on certain pieces of wood). Fulton was particularly struck by the great distance the wood had travelled.

This work is accompanied by a certificate, signed by the artist, stating that it is the first of an edition of three. The photograph was printed by Adrian Ensor.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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