VALE Aaron Schuman 2020-2021 In “Vale”, Aaron Schuman explores Vallis Vale – a narrow, cliff-lined, three-mile-long valley set in the southwest of England, which is one of the country’s few remaining ancient woodlands and officially designated rainforests. Throughout 2020-21, it’s a place that he has been frequently drawn to – where a dizzyingly interconnected, kaleidoscopic, almost hallucinogenic “veil” of nature descends from the valley’s steep sides and seemingly wraps itself around those within it. Immersed in this unique and ever-changing tapestry of life, Schuman becomes both fully enwrapped and enraptured by a small yet infinitely complex ecosystem; one which displays the interwoven intelligence and overwhelming power that nature itself possesses when left untamed.
AARON SCHUMAN is a photo-based artist, writer, educator and curator. He received a BFA in Photography & Art History from NYU: Tisch School of the Arts, and a Masters in Humanities & Cultural Studies from the London Consortium. He is the author of several monographs, including SLANT (MACK, 2019) – which was cited as one of 2019’s “Best Photobooks” by The Guardian, Internazionale, American Suburb X, and Photoeye, amongst others – and FOLK (NB, 2016) – which was cited as one of 2016’s “Best Photobooks” by Alec Soth (Photo-Eye), Sean O’Hagan (The Guardian), and Jason Fulford (TIME), and long-listed for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2017. Schuman’s work is exhibited and published internationally, and held in public and private collections. He has also contributed texts and images to many books, including Photo No-Nos (2021), Aperture Conversations (2018), Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins (2018), Alec Soth: Gathered Leaves (2015), and The Photographer’s Playbook (2014), and many others; he regularly contributes to magazines such as Aperture, Foam, Frieze and more. Additionally, Schuman has served as curator for several festivals, including Fotofest 2010, Krakow Photomonth 2014 and JaipurPhoto 2018, and has curated major exhibitions for institutions such as FOMU Antwerp, Houston Center of Photography, and the Royal Photographic Society. He was the founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine (2004-14), and is Programme Leader of MA Photography at UWE Bristol.