Following on from his Pools From Above and Detached in Harmony series, Walls wanted to draw further inspiration from his fascination with surrealism and geometric art.
In Vacant, the idea was born after visiting a squash court he used to play at in high school. “I was intrigued by the vast empty space and linework of the court,” he explains. “I was hooked. As an artist, you are trying to push your work to the next level, finding new scenes and testing the limits. A 20-square-metre box using a drone was the next challenge. I was bound to crash.”
Through the series, Walls created a “pure, clinical, retrofuturistic theme”, using white and pops of red to “combat the claustrophobic nature of a squash court”. He deliberately filled the space with as much white as possible, including the model’s wardrobe, to avoid the scenes becoming too “boxed in”. The wardrobe is used to contrast against the ’80s retro nature of the squash court. “I’ve always enjoyed Retrofuturism. The tension between the future and the past is intriguing. Movies like Gattaca, Blade Runner and Beyond the Black Rainbow have been pivotal in my understanding of the genre,” he says.
Mannequin Road, from the series Vacant © Brad Walls
Red Luxe, from the series Vacant © Brad Walls
Crosshair, from the series Vacant © Brad Walls
Just like other projects by Walls, the images enjoy a similar choreographic style, opting for mid-movement static poses. “The movement direction is intended to be artificially detached from the environment,” he adds. “They tell a story, but I don’t want to give the whole story away – I like the idea of seduction within my work.”
The photographs also play on duplicity, symmetry of figures, and negative space in what has become a trademark style for Walls. “Geometry provides a hint at consistency in an ever-inconsistent world. Innately, humans are drawn to it. Me, maybe more so.”
If you like this creative approach, Walls published his first book last October, Pools From Above. It can be pre-ordered from all major bookstores worldwide. Find out where to buy at bradscanvas.com.