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"My work explores the idea of imagined threat and response, and looks at fear and planning for the unexpected, merging fact and fiction, fantasy and reality."  —Sarah Pickering


The graphic explosion seen in this photograph, Artillery, is not aimed to destroy anything per se, but rather to document the use of detonation as a study tool for British military soldiers. Here, the tactical use of controlled explosions works to add realistic stress to training exercises and to familiarize soldiers with various munitions. Having captured controlled trials and simulated environments throughout her different series, Pickering's work emphasizes the secrecy and uniformity ever-present in the world of civil defense. Taken from the Explosions series, Artillery explores the paradox of planning for the completely unexpected. Set in an uninhabited field, Artillery sheds light on a system that is necessarily orderly and chaotic at once. 


Sarah Pickering (born in Durham City, England, 1972) finished her MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Photographer's Gallery Graduate Award and a Jerwood Award. Pickering has exhibited internationally and in the U.K., where her work was part of How We Are: Photographing Britain, at the Tate Britain. She lives in London.

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