Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski: Hind Land, London

Winners of the Troika Editions/FORMAT13 Award, Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski will exhibit their project Hind Land in a solo show at The Front Room Gallery, London, 5 – 30 June. An intricate and fascinating photographic survey, the work grew out of an interest in the interplay between the M25 and local woodland. Focusing on the forgotten spaces and pedestrian walkways found beneath the orbital M25 motorway, the photos uncover the relationship between nature and the man-made.

Together, Nick Rochowski and Tim Bowditch have produced an intriguing interpretation of one of our more famous and for many, infamous roadways in the UK. Moving away from the surface view of a green landscape bisected by monolithic architecture, Rochowski and Bowditch went underground, exploring the voids left by the motorway as it carves its way through the landscape. The blank canvasses of solid concrete have revealed themselves as a sinuous texture of almost lunar-like quality.

Informed by the technical methodology involved in the practice of surveying, the duo began with online mapping to identify the points accessible via public land. During the day the artist’s travelled to their selected locations often marked by water outlets, maintenance tunnels and public footpaths and returned at night to let the camera scan and record this hidden landscape. Using an Achromatic Digital Back that records the infrared and ultraviolet parts of the spectrum, the technology, along with hour long exposure times, produced a striking set of black and white images, with depth, tone and clarity. The resulting details found in the photographs reveals unseen details of a subterranean landscape with a stillness that is almost palpable.

While working beneath the motorway Rochowski and Bowditch became aware of the acoustic footprint of the M25. As a consequence, they approached Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau to create a sound piece that explores the beat and drone of eight lanes of thundering traffic. This collaboration also inspired the thinking behind the presentation with the gallery space. For the show in The Front Room, the gallery will be turned into the dark subterranean hinterland of the M25, with large scale, floor to ceiling photographs shown in a dimly lit room and complimented by the presentation of de Kersaint Giraudeau’s sound piece of rumbling traffic as it travels along the M25. As such, Hind Land, reinterprets something that seems solely functional into something with artistic attributes and musical qualities.

Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski: Hind Land, 5 – 30 June, The Front Room Gallery, 96 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3EA.

1. Tim Bowditch & Nick Rochowski/Courtesy of Troika Editions.