WIRED | 12/14/2018 | Michael Hardy
Firefang (Posted by) Level 4 - Ghost Towers (after%20Piranesi).jpg

The journey to the camera takes many paths. English artist Emily Allchurch began her career as a sculptor; it was at the Royal College of Art, where she earned her master’s degree, that she began incorporating photographs into her work. And although photography is now her primary medium—Allchurch best known for her intricate photo collages based on Old Master paintings—that sculptural background can still be glimpsed in the way she digitally assembles hundreds of photographs into fantastical tableaux of British buildings and monuments.

“I would say my photographs are created, not taken,” Allchurch explains. “Photography is simply the most relevant material I could use to explore the issues I want to in my work.”

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Allchurch’s most recent image, “Ghost Towers (After Piranesi),” is modeled on Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s etching “Ancient Circus of Mars with Neighboring Monuments Viewed at the Via Appia,” from the Italian artist’s Roman Antiquities series. Allchurch was drawn to Piranesi because of his background as a failed architect and because of what she calls his “sense of the theatrical.” The etching, one of Piranesi’s capriccios, or fantasies, depicts a Roman cityscape packed with statues, monuments, and architecture. It’s a view of Rome that exists only in the imagination of the artist.

Allchurch - Image - Structure - Piranesi - Roman

Allchurch’s image maintains the compositional structure of Piranesi’s etching but replaces the Roman artifacts with British iconography ranging from the Glasgow Necropolis to the latest London high-rises. She started by assembling an “image library” from photographs she took at sites around the United Kingdom, then copied and pasted the images onto the Photoshop equivalent of a blank canvas. Once the hundreds...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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