Mike Perry’s photographs examine the interactions of landscapes, nature and industrial society. Over the last 20 years his practice has focused on Britain’s national parks and increasingly the immediate surroundings of Pembrokeshire where he lives and works, questioning the romantic mythology of national parks as areas of wilderness and natural beauty. He uses large format photography in order to simultaneously capture the painterly tones and aesthetic qualities of the landscape’s surface while detailing the impacts of humanity’s exploitation of nature for commercial gains. His series of smaller photographs show objects found in the landscape at 1:1 scale, capturing the effect of natural processes on the surfaces of industrially produced materials. In these images the objects become poignant symbols of the entanglement – both literal and metaphorical – of human consumption, waste and nature. At a time when climate breakdown & ecological collapse coexists with a global pandemic that draws attention to the importance of the natural world to human physical and mental wellbeing, his work could hardly be more resonant.
Perry’s work has exhibited at National Museum Wales’s New Ground : Landscape Art in Wales since 1970, (2012) and Art and The Material Landscape (2016), at The Royal Academy of Arts exhibition The Black and White Room (2014) and Art Made Now (2018), at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and at the exhibition Found, curated by artist Cornelia Parker at The Foundling Museum (2016). In 2017, he was included in the British Arts Council Collection exhibition British Landscape and The Imagination at Towner Art Gallery. His solo exhibition Land/Sea received Arts Council Wales touring funds and travelled between Plymouth Arts Centre, Ffotogallery, Mostyn and Aberystwyth Arts Centre during 2017-18. Perry was awarded a Creative Wales Award in 2015 and represented Wales at the 2018 Interceltique Arts Festival in Lorient, France.
Mike Perry has a post graduate degree in economics, has worked with Greenpeace, was a founding director of the green energy firm solarcentury. In 2005, he was invited to the first Tipping Point symposium on climate change between leading scientists and artists at Oxford University and in 2015 presented to the Treasury on climate change action with economist Nicholas Stern and artists Antony Gormley and Cornelia Parker. He is currently in the process of rewilding a small holding in West Wales.