TERRAIN - Jack Whitefield


‘TERRAIN’ is the first solo show from Jack Whitefield, a British-born photographer raised in St Ives, Cornwall. Whitefield’s work can be considered banal, so rooted in the everyday that it seems disconnected from our idea of reality. While Whitefield’s pictures were made using a film camera and traditional printing techniques, his approach to his subject matter is far from traditional. Inspired by The New Topographics, one cannot help but consider Whitefield an outsider to his subject matter.

‘A cracked window on to the American dream, put a wedge in the crack you might split the whole dream in half.’ Whitefield picks up on these fractures, the sound of broken glass sandwiched between tarmac and a stiletto. He is led there by the light that pours in between the cracks, the nature that always finds a way to retake control.

Crushed Cans. Crushed Dreams. If the prevailing atmosphere is of disillusion, then it is not without hope, with the end of a dream comes a renewed engagement with reality.


"All the photographs in the show were taken over a one week period traveling from Los Angeles to East Arizona and back again. It's themed around nature taking back control of the landscape. It was something that really struck me as traveling through this part of America.

I work using a 120/220mm Fuji Gf670 and 35mm Contax camera and print everything by hand from my darkroom in Cornwall. I also self-publish all my books and show catalogs using a Risograph printer combined various hand binding techniques.

The show is accompanied by one of these handmade catalogs also titled ‘TERRAIN’, 42 pages, risograph printed, bound with engraved metal clasps and housed in an enamel silkscreened sleeve. Edition of 100.

Poetry is a big part of my work and all my books and catalogs start with a piece of writing within the first few pages. I feel that this connects to the reader more intimately with the photographs while leaving enough breathing room for their own interpretation. 

This show also features a window piece that takes up the gallery windows. It’s made from perforated micro vision vinyl that shows a solid image from a distance but becomes semi-transparent on closer inspection allowing a view into the gallery. Another effect is the window image slowly disappears as night falls, supposedly mimicking the remote desert landscapes as day turns to night."