Temples of Nature

Macduff Everton’s Below the Equator: Recent Photographs

At Hotel Andalucía’s Ro Snell Gallery, through July

Reviewed by India Allen

The world, so vast and fantastically intimidating, has been
explored extensively. But even after centuries of terrestrial
discoveries and conquests, Earth still holds secrets to which only
a very few are privy. So, thank god for the mighty camera!

Because of photography, people who, for whatever reason, cannot
travel to remote places themselves can leave the more exotic
adventures up to movie personalities like Indiana Jones — or to
photographers like Macduff Everton. Like the fictional Indy,
Everton has made it his business and lifelong joy to reveal secret
places — places so rare that most of us would believe they could
only exist in fantasy and imagination.

Our self-imposed boundaries are thus stripped bare by Everton’s
new photo installation, Below the Equator: Recent Photographs, now
showing at S.B.’s Hotel Andalucía. As one proceeds down the
spiraling stairway into the carefully tucked-away room that is the
Ro Snell Gallery, the contrast between the hotel’s urbane
sophistication and nature — the exhibit’s elemental subject
matter — is stark.

Hanging on the wall in what appear to be miniature projection
screens, Everton’s images gloriously capture the tropical, remote,
and nearly uninhabited environments of Peru and Chile. There is no
romanticism or exaggeration here. Everton portrays nature as it

For instance, “Road to Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile” shows
an aging pale-yellow bridge with a lone small community of humbly
built houses in the background. One can almost feel the dampness in
the air as gray clouds hover above the bridge and a murky river
flows beneath. Viewers may develop goose bumps, not only because of
the photo’s clarity and crispness, but also because most people
have witnessed how a river looks when rain is coming.

An absence of human figures is evident throughout the
installation. However, with one exception, the images portray an
abundance of human remnants such as houses, bridges, sheds, and
fences. Somehow the cumulative effect of so many images of foggy,
gray clouds reminds the viewer that all of the photos were taken
below the equator. For a North American, the exhibit spurs a riot
of associations, none of which can quite capture the specific sense
of place evoked all by itself. Combinations work better. For
instance, if you can imagine Little House on the Prairie meeting
Martha’s Vineyard, then perhaps you can place Everton’s “Last Hope
Sound,” which was taken in Patagonia, Chile. Overall this is an
inspiring show, the photographic equivalent of an extreme


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.