The Geology of the Billboard
Shot in and around London The Billboard Landscape series is a collection of colour photographs taken by Richard Baird, BP&O, in and around London. The project attempts to see and present the billboard and its layering of adverts as an interrelated topology. Only in their degradation, persistent weathering and a lack of human intervention, does a dialogue through time emerge between disparate and often uninspired marketing. Shot on location and cropped, a landscape of colour and halftone draws beauty from banality, from the smallest part of a series of unrelated large format prints. Order framed prints and print-only at the Billboard Landscape shop here.
Having been locked down in London off and on for much of 2020, I had found a need to seek out some form of joy to escape persistent bad news. In some ways, being stuck inside had created a hyper-awareness outside. The adverts that I saw littered throughout the urban landscape had become further disconnected from the world as it was in 2020. Holiday adverts stared mockingly down at me. Yet, as I saw these slowly degrade over the year, unchanged as ad spending collapsed, their frayed edges began to reveal the advertising below. It always had seemed interesting that these were always plastered over rather than replaced, and had created an overlooked temporality. These frayed layers, still bright with halftone and colour, appeared beautiful and unexpected. That when rotated, appeared as natural landscapes, rolling hills and mountains. That connection between the urban and the rural, of man-made construct and the rhythm of nature presented an interesting liminal space, a space for meaning-making. And so, the billboard landscape series emerged, presented as a series of prints to brighten the home, and to invite others to look below the surface.
The series is available to buy here as print-only or as custom-framed options. All funds raised will go towards sustaining BP&O and developing related projects into 2021.