Steve Alexander

Rural Graffiti

Exhibition dates: October 27th to November 27th, 2011  

This is a show of exceptional aerial photographs of crop circles from the UK, taken by one of the foremost documentarians of this unusual phenomenon. Steve Alexander is often amongst the first to photograph new formations from the air after they are discovered, revealing a form and scale that is lost to viewers on the ground. This is a show of thirty images of circles from the last three summers.

What tends to get overlooked in the debates over how they are formed is that very often crop circles are beautiful examples of land art in the tradition of Long, Goldsworthy, Smithson or Heizer. Often laid out as mandalas using primary geometric shapes of circles and lines, their apparent simplicity and pop culture appeal belies a sophistication in their creation, an attention to detail and a formal mathematical beauty. On the ground they are sculptural; it’s not unusual for the crop to be woven into three dimensional shapes or laid in weaves and patterns subtly detectable in the differing reflections of light.

Always clandestine; the makers are unknown, like taggers they turn up after dark and leave before dawn and they always work on other people’s property. They too have a subculture and a following who gather to view, to discus, to share and to enjoy the spectacle. Steve Alexander is part of that culture and his part in it is to document first hand this very fragile and temporary art form. Someday it will be seen to be the important work that it undoubtably is.