Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆
Puna is the Incan name for a plateau high up in the Andes mountain range. It’s a place that experiences weather extremes of heat, cold, wind and even greater solar radiation due to its altitude. These desolate conditions, however, make for great photography and Alexander Lindsay has captured some truly breathtaking landscapes covering everything from deserts to glaciers.
These images don’t do the works justice as some of the photographs on display are enormous and the detail within them is superb. Getting up close to a massive landscape it’s possible to discern those distant pink and white blobs to be a flamingos in a far away lake.
There’s a lot of variety in Lindsay’s portfolio, covering lakes so salty they don’t freeze, mountains formed from lava that are so new that the weather hasn’t had a chance to erode them yet and gnarled and bleached driftwood by the ocean’s shore.
The presence of people features too in the city of Iquique, but it is dwarfed by the giant sand dune called Dragon’s Hill, which towers over the buildings. These photographs wouldn’t work on a smaller scale and so it’s fitting they aren’t restricted to a standard gallery and can take advantage of this massive atrial space over two floors.
These are majestic photographs and standing before them makes the viewer feel small and inconsequential in front of these natural wonders.
Alexander Lindsay: Altitude is on at Piano Nobile King’s Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG until 20 June. Admission is free and the exhibition is on Monday to Sunday, 9am-8pm.