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Dust to Dust


Due largely to topography and depopulation the Scottish islands have an unusually high number of abandoned and derelict houses. During 2004 and 2005, using Ordnance Survey maps I methodically traveled throughout the Outer Hebrides and Orkneys documenting these empty buildings and produced an extensive archive of images. On the last day of production I made a still life picture which later intrigued and fascinated me, it was an image of a damaged book… a cowboy novel. In 2010 I was able to return to the islands and make a work about found Bibles, which were later sequenced with the earlier pictures and published as the book Dust to Dust in 2014.

“Tyler has produced a dichotomy between the artificial and the natural, although if we consider the matter from an architectural perspective, they both merge originally in the primitive model of Vitruvian abode, built with tree trunks. Timber, furthermore, as I have heard it said by the great Spanish engineer Javier Manterola, is better suited to building than stone, as it is a more pliable, lighter and more flexible material, without noting, I should add, that it is “alive”, since being organic it perishes only when it is burnt, and, above all, when it is reduced to dust. Dust brings us to the crux of the matter, for this is the effective manner in which wood dies, for it does not expire in any way when it is cut. So this is where Tyler finds the source of his elegiac inspiration.”
Francisco Calvo Serraller