Lockdown book project fuels Rankin’s creativity

February 10, 2022

Photographer Rankin has revealed details of his upcoming book, An exploding worldwhich was a Covid lockdown project he took on to expand his artistic abilities while in isolation.

To be published in April 2022, it is a companion to his book 202o To kiss (of Rankin Publishing), who also used flowers as the main subjects of his images. It is said that the work in this new limited edition publication, ‘explore the aesthetics of destruction, through apocalyptic images reminiscent of nuclear explosions or comets.’

The creation of it has become for the photographer, “an intimate approach to artistic expression, frustration during lockdown isolation and a celebration of the expressive creativity that has emerged.”

Rankin shot his An Exploding World project during the Covid lockdown.  Image: Rankin self-portrait

Rankin shot his An Exploding World project during the Covid lockdown. Image: Rankin self-portrait

Rankin is best known for his portraits, commercial and fashion photography, but in 2020 he found himself, for the first time in his 30-year career, cut off from his studio and regular collaborators. He was forced to find a way to create works without face-to-face interaction, so the much-loved portrait photographer turned to nature.

Rankin explained, “For years I have been obsessed with making a perfect dandelion seed head. Considered weeds, they grow absolutely everywhere, especially in the city. And during a time of great stress, there was solace in them .

A smoking dandelion from the An Exploding World project.  Image: Rankin

A smoking dandelion from the An Exploding World project. Image: Rankin

By taking dandelions (symbols of courage, growth, hope and healing) and igniting them, Rankin found his own visual metaphor for how he felt and the larger state of the world around him. .

He told AP, “When fire burns in the forest, the old growth burns to make room for the new forest to emerge. By burning these dandelions, I mentally cleared space. Finding a new outlet for my creativity.

A fiery dandelion from the Rankin An Exploding World lockdown project.  Image: Rankin

A fiery dandelion from the Rankin An Exploding World lockdown project. Image: Rankin

The book An exploding world contains new and exclusive images and includes an in-depth interview with Rankin, in which he discusses the inspiration behind the works and his process.

He revealed, “My still lifes resemble some of the purest images I’ve taken since the 90s… They exist in the same world as my portraits or my nudes, a new realization of my fascination with beauty and death. These two themes have fascinated me throughout my career. And, as I get older, they begin to intertwine in my imagination.

The cover of Rankin's book An Exploding World.  Image: Rankin/Rankin Edition

The cover of Rankin’s book An Exploding World. Image: Rankin/Rankin Edition

Rankin Publishing will publish An exploding world (ISBN: 9780995574182) in April 2022, priced at £45.

To learn more about Rankin’s work, visit: Rankin Photo


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