Waddington Custot is pleased to present the new series of photographs This Empty World by Nick Brandt. The series examines the escalating environmental and ecological degradation in East Africa, previously explored in Inherit the Dust (2014–16). In This Empty World, Brandt uses colour for the first time, and a digital medium format, bringing immediacy to a subject that demands our attention.
This Empty World was made on Maasai land in Kenya, where Brandt photographed indigenous animals in their natural habitat. Almost always keeping the camera in the exact same position, he then built temporary urban structures in the same location, a highway flyover, a petrol station, re-photographing the transformed space. Brandt combines the two images in post-production, composing dramatic scenes that confront urgent environmental issues, such as the scarcity of resources.
The series, shot mostly at night, shows the neon glow of urban lights illuminating passive crowds and displaced animals. In This Empty World, Brandt makes powerful and haunting images revealing not only the mounting tension between animals and humans, but also the mutual suffering shared by both as victims of environmental devastation.
The complete series is exhibited from 7 February 2019, and is accompanied by the related monograph, published by Thames & Hudson.