ARTIST: Julian Opie born 1958
MEDIUM: Photograph, colour, Chromogenic print, on paper on Perspex
DIMENSIONS: Image: 750 x 1120 mm
COLLECTION: Tate
ACQUISITION: Purchased 2001
REFERENCE: P78526

This specific piece was caught my attention because of the slightly abstract appeal to it, and because of the artist’s connection and interest in memories. The abstract photograph can trigger very different emotions in different people, for example someone might be reminded of a wonderful night spent with friends, someone might think of the rainy night where they got robbed and a third person might not recall any related memories to the piece at all. This is what i found most intriguing about Opie’s work.


“Eight Landscapes is a series of eight digital colour prints on photographic paper mounted on perspex. It was made in an edition of forty, of which this is number thirteen. The prints have been framed in thin metal frames finished in white paint and glazed with perspex. All the images in the series also exist as individual works in larger format c-type prints resembling light-boxes, which are mounted either with sound systems (playing the sounds described by the title) or digital LED panels displaying the words of the title one by one. Two of the images, Distant Music Water Traffic and Rain Footsteps Siren, have been made in an additional version with flashing lights. The images portrayed in Eight Landscapes were created from photographs taken by the artist in a range of urban and natural environments. Opie scanned the photographs onto a computer and altered them digitally. His alterations involve emptying the images of detail by blocking in areas of flat colour. This results in generalised images of landscapes. The image titles are simple lists of three sounds Opie heard at the time he took the photograph. He has explained: ‘Things in my experience don’t look photographic. When I recall the things I did in a day, for example, it’s not as a series of photographs, high resolution pictures. It’s a series of images which resemble symbols and signs. It’s like another language.’ (Quoted in Julian Opie, 2001, p.6.)” (tate.org.uk)