Rory Carnegie is an internationally renowned photographer whose work offers social commentary and insight through contemporary documentary portraiture & hyper-stylised modern editorial. His portraits ask many questions. His versatility and sheer intelligence in approach create both breath-taking, stylishly humorous and engaging pieces that transport the viewer.
Rory Carnegie recent series Long Ago and Far Away takes inspiration from Oxford’s Port Meadow. It is a body of work that explores relocation, identity and belonging. Reflections on the work of Durer, Rembrandt and Stubbs led Carnegie to an interest in the apparent disconnection between animals and their habitat. How artists had historically represented animals which they might not have seen, or not seen in ‘the wild’ led him to question what a natural habitat actually meant.
There is an apocryphal story that George Stubbs saw a lion killing a horse in North Africa on his way back from Italy, but this is unlikely to be true. His 1763 painting of a zebra which he saw in a private menagerie, is placed in what looks like a North European woodland. The painting appears perfectly balanced and correct although the animal is in a habitat with which it is not normally associated.
Reflecting on these historical works led Carnegie to thoughts about native and alien species, and what it means to be indigenous. The outcome is an ethereal, painterly portrait series, reminiscent of nineteenth century oil portraits of animals.
1986 Altiplano. High Andes, Royal Geographical Society. London.
1988 Autoportraits, Charing Cross Road Gallery. London.
2001. Art Crazy Nation, Inside Space. Selfridges. London.
2006. Botley Road/The Invisibles, OVADA. Oxford
Land Girls. Then and Now, South Hill Arts Centre. Bracknell
2012 Portraits. Keble College, Oxford
2015 Tales of the Dog and Horse. John Martin Gallery
2016 Long Ago and Far Away. John Martin Gallery
1996,1997,2002,2003 Kobal Photographic Awards, National Portrait Gallery. London
1999. Naked, A.O.P Gallery.
2004 The Oxford Show, Modern Art Oxford.
2004. 2005,2006. Schweppes Photographic Awards, National Portrait Gallery. London
2005. Modern Art Oxford
2006 Local Stories, Modern Art Oxford
They came to See, Leiden Museum, Holland
The Face of Retail, Oxford Town Hall
2007 Institute of Contemporary Culture. Perm. Russia
2008 ,2009, 2010.2011.2013 AOP Gallery
2011 Children at War, Oxfordshire Museum
Rencontres d’Arles Salon Gallery
2014 John Martin Gallery, London Art Fair 2014
2016 John Martin Gallery. Art 16
Sons of the Moon. Travels in the Andes. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.1986
Art Crazy Nation. 21 Publishing. 2001.
Pride of Place. The Arts Council/August Publishing.2002.
How the World came to Oxford. Refugee Stories Past and Present.OUP.2007
Local Stories. Arts Council.2007