Photographer Rankin’s latest coffee-table book highlights the importance of creativity as a tool for personal mental well being.
A companion series to Embrace (Rankin Publishing, 2021) works in this new limited run publication, titled An Exploding World, explore the aesthetic of destruction, through apocalyptic imagery reminiscent of nuclear explosions or comets. The creation of which became for the photographer an intimate take on artistic expression, frustration during lockdown isolation, and a celebration of the expressive creativity that emerged.
Designed by long-time Rankin collaborators, SEA, this title is an intensely personal project for Rankin; one immeasurably entangled with his own mental health. During 2020 Rankin found himself, for the first time in his 30 year career, closed off from his studio and collaborators. Forced to find a way to create works without face-to-face interaction, the portrait photographer turned to nature.
“For years now I’ve been obsessed with the perfection of a dandelion seed head. Seen as weeds, they grow absolutely everywhere, especially in the city. And during a time of great stress, there was comfort in them.” – Rankin
Taking dandelions (symbols of courage, growth, hope and healing) and setting them alight, Rankin found his own visual metaphor how he was feeling and for the state wider world around him. However, these works are not just about destruction:
“When fire burns through the forest, the old growth burns away to allow space for the new forest to emerge. Through burning these dandelions I was clearing space mentally. Finding a new outlet for my creativity.” – Rankin
Alongside new and exclusive imagery is a personal introduction from Rankin and an interview with the artist discussing the inspiration behind the works and his process.
A photographer who is often synonymous with celebrity portraiture and high profile beauty campaigns, An Exploding World explores the other side of Rankin’s artistic output.
“My still life works feel like some of the purest images I’ve taken since the 90s… They exist in the same world as my portraits or nudes, a fresh realisation of my fascination with beauty and death. These two themes have fascinated me throughout my career. And, as I get older, they start to become more intertwined in my imagination.” – Rankin
Rankin : An Exploding World
Size: 330 x 240mm (Portrait)
Page Count: 68pp
Category: Photography / Art
ISBN 13: 780995574182
Publisher: RANKIN Publishing Ltd.
Distributor: Marston Book Services