Set against a forested, earthy backdrop, the luminescent glow in Barry Underwood’s photographs is startlingly beautiful. Yet the colorful, glowing elements are much more than photographic manipulation. Underwood uses a combination of LED lights, luminescent materials and photographic effects to create each of the abstract landscapes in his work. The resulting images are magical, curious and effortlessly intriguing.
Before installing the LED lights and luminescent material, Underwood immerses himself in the location, supplementing his tastes by reading about the landscape and its history. This period of research and experience ensures that each light installation is based on that specific landscape, acting as an exploration of the social and ecological histories that have shaped the land. According to his personal statement, Underwood focuses on community and land-use in a variety of urban, suburban and rural locations.
Underwood is influenced by many mediums, including landscape art, paintings, film and photography. His interest in landscape history motivates him to build installations in a variety of places, from lakes and forests to mountains and meadows. Each individual image tells its own story—some are light and joyful, while others are dark and eerie.
Barry Underwood got his start in theater as an actor and set builder. Yet after taking his first photography class, Underwood fell in love with the medium, eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in both Theatre and Photography. He then pursued an MFA in Photography at Cranbook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Over the past decade, Underwood has exhibited work all over the United States, earning multiple highly coveted residencies. These residencies often become the locations for his newest artwork.
If you enjoyed these photographs, you’ll surely love the paintings of these surrealist artists!