Aerial photographer Brad Walls reveals latest fine art series inspired by the pandemic

Award-winning Australian aerial photographer Brad Walls has released a new series titled ‘Detached, in Harmony’, drawing inspiration from the pandemic, as well as from renowned 40s fashion photographer Clifford Coffin.

Walls noticed a lack of drone style aerial based photography in the conceptual art photography world when he made his earlier widely series ‘Pools From Above‘.

“Conceptual photography is mostly shot on handheld cameras, but I wanted to showcase the value of an alternate viewpoint to convey a meaningful story,” he explains.

The Sydney based photographer wanted to harness nuance and meticulous attention to detail to mirror the state of the world during the pandemic. Like many, the artist had experienced how distant and repetitive life had become, and so he placed a keen focus on this element in his work. Walls presents these concepts using repetition, symmetry of figures, and negative space throughout the series.

Each frame within the series is carefully arranged, placing the model at even lengths and highlighting the shadow cast to highlight our solitude and the lurking darkness of the era. Walls’ choice to have the models posed mid-movement emphasises the uniformity and surrealism of the series. As he explains, “The figures are purposefully static, to symbolise how we have been frozen in time over the past 18 months.”

To create this series, Walls drew inspiration from 40’s fashion photographer Clifford Coffin’s ‘Models Sitting on Sand Dunes’. Both Coffin’s and Wall’ work display a melancholic sense of loneliness, balancing these emotions with warmer hues, in “a sort of melancholic irony”.

These images are quite intriguing and definitely make you stop to look more closely. They absolutely tick all the boxes for me in a fine art photography way. The execution and concept are meticulous, the colour palette is limited and entirely deliberate. The subjects are both isolated and yet part of a greater sequence, leaving a contrasting sense of both togetherness and apartness, actually very similar to the way the pandemic has affected us all. It’s a very clever and interesting take on the whole ‘same storm, different boats’ adage.

‘Detached, in Harmony’ placed second in the 2021 Fine Art Photography Awards ‘Conceptual’ category, and placed silver in both the prestigious PX3 awards and Moscow Fine Art Awards of 2021. The artist currently plans to exhibit ‘Detached, in Harmony’ in a solo exhibition in 2022.