Parasols and Pastels in Bermuda

Parasols and Pastels in Bermuda

This article appears in Volume 26: The Nostalgia Issue

the top of the fine art photographer Gray Malin’s website
you’ll find the slogan “Make every day a getaway”. Whether parasols
or pastels, vintage cars or cowboys, a getaway is precisely what
his photography provides, granting brief respite from the barrage
of painful, albeit necessary, images we are used to seeing on the
daily news. “Escapism is a large part of my work,” Malin confirms.
“Whether via a moment on the beach, strolling your favourite park
or a fanciful world with exotic animals and balloons, I aspire to
create work that a person wants to step into and enjoy.”

His second book, Escape, features over 20 destinations that
showcase the boundless beauty of the world around us. “I’m
typically striving for a feeling of timelessness,” Malin admits. In
locations as varied as New York, Bora Bora and Antarctica, his
photography celebrates the harmony between nature and humanity,
depicting intimacy in a world that can at times seem devoid of it.
With a combination of wit and skill he successfully captures the
joyful simplicity that evades many.

“There are specific collections that are very much inspired by a
particular era, thus naturally evoking nostalgia,” Malin explains.
This reflective angle remains a common theme throughout his work.
As well as using his own memories as a source of inspiration, much
of the photographer’s work reflects on the history and experiences
of others.

Through visiting friends in Bermuda as a child, Malin had the
opportunity to see the island from the perspective of a local and
experience its rich history. “Bermuda has a unique blend of British
and American culture that I’ve always found fascinating. I wanted
to create something that was reflective of the luxe, yet completely
inviting way of life there.” As a result Malin shot Bermuda, an
innately nostalgic series showcasing the Bermudian way of life that
simultaneously pays homage to its colourful past.

With its muted colours and vintage fashion, the Bermuda series
seems almost wistful for an earlier time. “It’s interesting to
compare nostalgia and optimism, as nostalgia looks to the past
whereas optimism faces the future,” Malin notes. “But, distinction
aside, I feel they are most certainly linked, as both are rooted in
positive emotions.”

However, the photographer acknowledges his use of “creative
interpretation of one particular time or another, from my own
modern point of view”. His work reflects an acceptance of the past
and an acknowledgement of its romantic appeal, but from a modern,
forward-looking perspective.

The Bermuda series evokes comparisons with the late photographer
Slim Aarons. “I am a huge admirer of Slim Aarons, so I consider it
a compliment to hear comparisons,” Malin admits. “Bermuda oozes
luxury yet has a relaxed vibe to it that Slim managed to convey so
famously with images of beautiful people living their lives in
beautiful places.” His own source of inspiration, however, comes
from a place of personal nostalgia. “My true inspiration is my own
grandparents. They were able to travel the world while documenting
their life with photography. I love flipping through the countless
photo albums and am constantly inspired by the way they lived so


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