by Whatsblem the Pro
Peter Gordon is a well-respected playa photographer who has won a slew of accolades for his work, especially in his native Ireland and in the broader world of European fine art photography. Peter is perhaps best known among burners for his work documenting the 2011 Temple of Transition, and his latest project will bring that work to the coffee table and the world. Thus spake the photographer himself:
“The book is called Life and Death – The Temple, and it’s the first time there has ever been a specific photography project on the Temple. The story is told through the Temple of Transition, but the work is about more than an individual Temple. It’s about the concept, it’s about our need to grieve, our need for companionship. It’s about life and death, as expressed through the Temple. The idea is to give a genuine photographic document of the Temple experience. So far the work is going down really well with a host of awards for some of the sweeping wide angle images.
“It’s going to be a hardback coffee table finish printed here in Ireland. An interview of David Best by James ‘Irish’ Horkan (of the International Arts Megacrew, the team that built the Temple of Transition) will serve as the foreword for the book. I’m hoping to launch the project in late September with an exhibition in Ireland, and then take it to the U.S. on tour.”
There’s just one little fly in Peter Gordon’s ointment, and you can help: he needs to identify burners in several photographs intended for the book, so that he can ask them for permission to use their images commercially.
In August of 2013, I asked Peter Gordon for some background on his work. This was his response:
“My first love as a photographer was landscape photography. What really got me hooked was hanging out in the Wicklow mountains, just south of Dublin, watching the Sun go down or waiting for it to come up. You could say I got a little obsessed; so much so that I spent the next five years rambling around Wicklow shooting with an old film camera on a 6×7 format. I managed to create a book and exhibition around my experience, called Wild Garden. I had exhibited in a range of shows before but this was my first big body of work in terms of something that I felt was really complete, and also as something that got great media coverage and generated a successful exhibition.
“I’ve done other landscape projects since, and I’m still crazy for the great outdoors. I’ve always had a love for both documentary photography and Burning Man, so it seemed logical to try and merge those two loves at some point. Life and Death – the Temple became my first major documentary photography project.
“After mixing things up with my style a bit at the end of 2011, I started to get lots of great recognition for my work, both in terms of landscape and the documentary imagery I had created at Burning Man. I managed to win Irish and European Professional Photographer of the Year which was really amazing.
I’m incredibly excited to try and put this Temple book and exhibition together; I think the work tells a genuinely interesting story. I’d love to see it travel from Ireland to the U.S. and beyond.
“I won’t be able to make it out to the desert this year, but can’t wait to come back in 2014 to soak up the atmosphere and make some fresh imagery.”