top of page

project overview

“[W]hether nature is debased into an exploitable domain of calculation and organization [...] or whether, as the self-secluding earth,

it bears the open realm of the pictureless world”

Martin Heidegger (Contributions to Philosophy [of the event])

Humilitas is a still photography and expanded media project that considers our geological belonging with the earth. What can the earth teach the image about restraint, humility, and the human’s place on this planet?


Today, debates on environmental crisis and sustainability position the human being either as perpetrator – proposing to label our era ‘the age of the anthropocene’ – or else on the very brink of extinction. This limit situation opens up our seeing of the natural world around us, appealing to a renewed awareness of organic and mineral life through the ages that geologists call "deep time".

Humilitas has two aims. First, to examine, through sustained observation, the native forms and immemorial temporalities of the high altitude mountain. Second, to configure from these studies a “humble image” –  an open, reflective image from which we may stand naked, before ourselves, the world and the earth. In a call to a poetic seeing that lies beyond the concrete shape of our surroundings, the humble image is at once exposing and sheltering, interrogating and safeguarding.

Work in progress. 


"Time is scaled. The past is disclosed both to a close-up and a telescopic lens. It reaches back from a moment ago to unthinkably distant events. It traverses days, personal events, lifespans, wars, the birth of nations, and other momentous historical events. It encompasses the evolution of our own and other species, indeed the origin of life itself"

David Wood (Deep Time, Dark Times: on being geologically human)

Research questions


  • What can the earth teach the image about restraint, humility, and the human’s place on this planet?

  • What is humility? (survey of the term and working definition) 

  • How does the timescale of deep geology manifest? how may we perceive and register it? Metamorphosis, trace and the rock strata: time, movement, weather, sediment, erosion


  • What are the principles of the open image: questions of de-framing, representation and intelligibility

  • How can the image overcome itself? restraint, distance and proximity, scale, focal planes​

  • What is the productive relationship between environmental phenomena and dark seeing: working within limit states of visibility at night, dawn and dusk

  • What is the role of black and white in humble imaging?


  • Questions of material, ontological and phenomenal experience, liminality, points of interface and unity in the installation work: combining elemental matter with still and durational media in the gallery space

Consulted Art Works and Practices by 

Joseph Beuys; Andrea Büttner; Fischli and Weiss; Ori Gersht; Richard Long; Claude Monet; Giorgio Morandi; Gerhard Richter; Cy Twombly.

Abbreviated Methodology 

  • My enquiry takes inspiration from Martin Heidegger’s ethics of the earth and the environmental philosophies of Ted Toadvine and David Wood. In particular, notions of earth, world, diffidence, inceptual thinking, environmental phenomenology, deep time, and the chiasm. *


  • I work with close observation, medium format photography, digital video and audio recordings, in dialogue with found objects and organic and mineral matter.

Humilitas is set in the high altitude landscapes of Pallars Sobirà, an isolated region of the Catalan Pyrenees that was for centuries mined for natural resources and which became a battleground between Republican troops and the Francoist Army during the Spanish Civil War (July to November 1938).

Humilitas is composed of three photographic series (De-framing: experiments in seeing; Earth Abyss; Weathered Images), a sculptural work incorporating a found object and organic matter (Vanitas-Humilitas), artist texts, and a moving image work provisionally titled The Clearing (to be developed in 2024 for production in 2025).

From the artist's notebooks.

On humility

"The consciousness and feeling of the insignificance of one's moral worth in comparison with the law is humility (humilitas moralis). A conviction of the  greatness of one's moral worth, but only from failure to  compare it with the law, can be called moral arrogance (arrogantia moralis). Waiving any claim to moral worth in oneself, in the belief that one will thereby acquire a borrowed worth, is morally false servility (humilitas spuria).


True humility follows unavoidably from our sincere and exact comparison of ourselves with the moral law (its holiness and strictness). But from our capacity for internal lawgiving and from the (natural) man feeling himself compelled to revere the (moral) man within his own person, at the same time there comes exaltation and the highest self-esteem, the feeling of his inner worth (valor), in terms of which he is above any price (pretium) and possesses an inalienable dignity (dignitas interna), which instills in him respect for himself (reverentia)."

Immanuel Kant, "Notes on the lectures of Mr. Kant on the metaphysics of morals", in Lectures on Ethics, ed. Peter Heath and J.B. Schneewind, trans. Peter Heath, Cambridge University Press, 1997 (notes taken by Johann Friedrich Vigilantius, begun October 14, 1793)

* I refer to the following texts: Contributions to Philosophy (of the Event) (Heidegger, 2012 [1936-38]); Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Nature (Toadvine, 2009); Deep Time - Dark Times: on Being Geologically Human (Wood, 2019).

Images: Earth Abyss #1, Humilitas series, 2023. Pigment print on archival Hahnemühler paper, 80 x 80 cm; artist studio during research and production of Humilitas at Centre for Art and Nature Farrera, 2022.

This project has been researched and produced in residence at CAN Farrera, Catalan Pyrenees, with the support of the Art and Nature Award. Funded by: CAN (Centre Art i Natura, Farrera). In partnership with Centre d' Art La Panera and supported by Ajuntament de Lleida. This project is informed by The Deep R&D funded by Creative ScotlandPhotographic post-production at Copia Lab and Rebel.lab Barcelona, and Metro Imaging London. The artist thanks The Tàpies Foundation and Pompeu Fabra University for access to research resources. Year of Production: 2023.

bottom of page