Friday, 29 October 2010

Liquid Stone

Fabric formed concrete structures are often used to stabilise vast areas of landscape that are exposed to some of the most erosive forces of natures. These types of erosion control systems usually involve a gigantic woven lattice of fabric forms, that are draped over the endangered landscape. The Fabric form is then filled in situ with concrete and adapts itself to the uneven contours, curves and topography of the site. The process of formation is akin to the processes of erosion it is protecting against. The resulting expansive concrete drapes intimately connect with the landscape like a Christo wrap, and act as reminder of man’s continued resistance with the sculpting forces of nature.

Dams across the globe also directly interface with the creative energies of the environment and often result in some of the most awe inspiring feats of human ingenuity in attempting to harvest these forces.

Toshio Shibata, a Japanese photographer, beautifully captures these and other concrete landscapes in his work. The stark black and white images capture the animation, fluidity and reveal the sculptural qualities of beautifully engineered concrete across Japan’s terrain.