Darren Almond – Full Moon | 26.3.15

In a stroke of fortuitous happenstance Darren Almond was one of the first serious contemporary artists that I really got to know. Darren’s studio (this is 1996) was in the block of studios that I had started to work in. The studios were a mixed bag; a mix of craftspeople, designers and artists – some of them pursuing their chosen craft full time and others supplementing their studio time with other jobs.

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Darren had been working as a technician at Anthony D’Offay and then subsequently at Jay Jopling’s White Cube, in its first incarnation in a small first floor space on Duke Street. His studio had a desk, a decent selection of books, some contact sheets and not a lot else; from the north facing window you could see a sculpture that he had installed under the Westway, a fan that sat neatly at the top of one of the stanchions. His first show at White Cube included another ceiling fan, this one had automated arms that moved in and out to trace the square shape of the room as it circulated. It was around this time that Darren made his first Full Moon photograph – an ongoing series and the subject of this Taschen publication – photographs that are taken during the night of full moons, lit only by the light from the moon but revealing the slow depth of colour and tone that this long exposure under these conditions can bring. From the first of the series to early versions that were based on Fox Talbot’s photograph of the window at Lacock Abbey the series has grown to include pieces made in the Alps, the Suffolk locations used by Constable and further works made in the Far East. This body of work sits alongside Almond’s other pieces – sculpture, film, drawing and painting – much of which draws on a fascination with experiential time.

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