Desiree Dolron
‘I Will Show You Fear In a Handful of Dust II’, 2016

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust II, is a macro film study of dust. Circular dust particles, indistinct and almost invisible, float before us, slowly at times and with greater agitation at others, set against a black background. They glint as they catch the light, giving them fleeting form as if they were snow-flakes falling at night, caught by the moon.

The film is, at base, also a visual meditations on mortality. It is a subject best approached obliquely and in some senses, simply. Taking the biblical equation of the cycle of life with the coming from and returning to, dust and the common (misconceived) belief that most household dust is human skin, Dolron filmed motes of dust, hanging in the air.

By picturing, in forensic detail, this common matter, and finding in it both beauty and mystery, Dolron’s work quietly and deftly shows that what matters is what questions you ask and what you are looking for.

About Desiree Dolron

Desiree Dolron is a Dutch artist working primarily in photography and video.

Over three decades, Dolron has created an extraordinary, powerful and eclectic body of work. She has ranged widely in the method, form and focus of her work, which is structured in series.

Formally and stylistically Dolron’s work has encompassed various modes of photographic and filmic representation; reportage, documentary, travel, staged, conceptual and more. It has drawn on and evolved aesthetics and techniques from photography, painting and film. For long periods Dolron has worked on the road, travelling relentlessly. At other times her practice has kept her in the studio, spending years on a single series, perfecting its creation and its constituent analogue, digital and printing processes.

This formal fluidity is atypical in an age shaped by market demands for standardisation and predictability. This fluidity flows from Dolron’s absolute commitment to her subject at any given time. She is, perhaps, the artist equivalent of a method actor, fully immersed in the material of her creative engagements. To repurpose that old Modernist principle; in Dolron’s work, form follows narrative.

Her work has variously engaged with; identity as it manifests in and across cultures, otherness, belief, religious ecstasy, the quotidian altered states of madness, depression and alienation, ideology and its impositions on everyday life, dreamworlds, mortality, migration and ecological decline.

As with many artists, or simply, humans, Dolron’s work is fuelled by a strange admixture of understanding, contradiction and mystery. A self-identified atheist, she has travelled the world to find the extremities of religious belief. By nature, an adventurer, Dolron has subjected herself to extended stasis, in order to discover different forms and pockets of value and meaning, both near at hand and in the processes of making. Her work is informed by both a deep empathy with, and a clear-eyed understanding of, the limitations of the human.

Dolron is an artist of intensity.

Her artistic career is a tale told by a search for compelling intensities in the world. Though the alchemical process of creative work, Dolron transmutes those intensities into artworks that can be shared, appreciated and owned by others.

More on Desiree Dolron:

View the Collection

Charles Harlan, Tabby, 2016

Daniel Crews-Chubb, Crews-Chubb, 2015

Emeka Ogboh, Ebube Dike, 2017

Children of the Light, Yellow Sphere, 2022