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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage (detail)

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Photography: David Maisel’s Terminal Mirage series redefines amazing

These days amazing is arguably the most overused adjective in the English language. I remember listening to a radio reporter sent to interview Glastonbury-goers after The Rolling Stones’ headline set and literally everyone he collared for a comment described it as “amazing.” Heck we probably contribute to its prevalence here at It’s Nice That. But David Maisel’s photography resets the bar for work I now consider amazing because this is stunning. For decades the Princeton graduate has focussed on environmentally-impacted sites, exploring the effects of mining or deforestation with genuinely jaw-dropping skill.

Most recently David has turned his talents to canisters which contained the cremated remains of patients in a psychiatric hospital, but it’s his larger-scale work I’d like to bring to your attention today, and in particular his Terminal Mirage project. Shot around Utah’s Great Salt Lake, although with precious little information to anchor what we are looking at, this series presents the vivid colours and patterns which are created by a combination of natural and man-made process.

Above and beyond their obvious aesthetic qualities these images raise a set of questions about our relationship with the natural world, questions which are all the more powerful by way of being quiet and insistent rather than hectoring. Amazing stuff indeed.

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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage

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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage

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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage

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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage

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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage

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David Maisel: Terminal Mirage