Kirk Palmer: August Shadows, Daiwa Foundation Japan House, London

This July the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation presents the work of filmmaker Kirk Palmer, whose observations from his unique experiences sculpt the context of his work. Palmer’s practice is located somewhere between the still and the moving image; landscape and sense of place can be seen as broad themes, as can the existential nature of our relationship with the world.

Between 2005 and the present he made August Shadows, a trilogy of moving image works: Murmur (2006), Hiroshima (2007) and War’s End: An Island Of Remembrance (2012), along with various photographic works. Centred upon Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Yakushima these works collectively examine how historical events manifest in the present day physical substance of place, where the pall of the atomic bombings are a latent and unifying presence.

Palmer’s works avoid didacticism in favour of nuance; they are free from gratuitous imagery of war and its after-effects. Each work is a response to his own personal experiences of these places and landscapes, supported by archival research and the recollections and testimonies of survivors and their families.

These events are irresolvable, unfathomable, beyond comprehension; but it is exactly because of these things that Palmer has pursued over a nine year period the awful legacies of nuclear war and its ongoing effects. All his work on the subject of the atomic bombings can be understood as an attempt to ‘reach’ that particular place and time because as the survivors grow more elderly and frail it is ever more pressing that we do not forget.

Palmer was born in Northampton, UK, and trained at the Royal College of Art in London. Whilst a student he was awarded a scholarship to study in Japan at Kyoto City University Of Arts, leading to an exhibition at Kyoto Art Center, and has since won and been shortlisted for various prizes including awards from the Conran Foundation and the Elephant Trust.

He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally with solo shows in London and Berlin, and group shows including: Anticipation, David Roberts Art Foundation, London; In Our World: New Photography in Britain, Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy; and Natural Wonders: New Art From London, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow. He lives and works in London.

Kirk Palmer’s August Shadows: Reflections on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, from 6pm, 8 July 2014. Admission free, booking essential. For more information and to book visit

1. Kirk Palmer, Hiroshima (2007). © Kirk Palmer.

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