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Kim Keever’s Aquarium Landscape Photography

By Ruth Dunn on June 27th 2013

The landscapes of artist and photographer Kim Keever are fascinating to look at–they are realistic, yet dreamlike; they appear to be a finely painted landscape, yet they also appear to be photographs. So how does he do it? These dreamlike images are not products of Photoshop, but of a keen eye for detail, sculptural skills, and a glass tank full of water.

Over 20 years ago, the artist and photographer became interested in where our changing landscapes come from. With an inquisitive mind he began to study geology in 1989. This fascination with the landscape, as well as the mind of an engineer mixed with the creative flair of an artist, led to Keever’s large C-print photographs.

J261 One of a Kind 261b, 2013 copy

Keever’s landscapes are small environments created through setup photography. The landscape and objects are built out of plaster, and other materials, which are then submerged in a large tank full of water. Keever also places items in front of and behind the tank, and various colored paints are pumped through the water to create some surprisingly realistic atmospheric effects. Once everything is set up he then begins to take hundreds of photographs.


Since he started working with water filled aquariums (in 1995), Keever says most of the work he has made relates to the mid 19th century landscape painting styles of the Hudson River School and the Luminist Schools. The romanticism of the Hudson River School and the tranquil and hazy landscapes of the Luminist Schools, as well as their focus on the effects of light, are qualities which are clearly present in Keever’s work.

Keever is currently working on a new series titled ‘One of a Kind’. Although not originally focused on birds, ‘One of a Kind’ has morphed into a series about birds, an animal Keever has always loved, which are situated within his landscapes.

“There were mountains, sunsets and ocean shores before there were eyes to see them.” –Kit White

To see more of Keever’s work click here.


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Ruth is a Brisbane based journalist specialising in articles about visual art, photography, design and fashion. Co-founder of Raw Ink magazine, she enjoys uncovering interesting and unique events, issues and people to write about.

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