In geology, an erratic is a rock that has been carried hundreds of thousands of kilometers on glacial ice. From the Latin errare, which means to wander, the erratic rock finds itself in a place of strange and unfamiliar geology once the ice beneath it melts.
Darren Harvey-Regan’s The Erratics is a photo book that draws upon this concept in a manner that is both literal and abstract. The project began in the Western Desert of Egypt, where Harvey-Regan was taking large-format photographs of the unique rock formations whose striking white shapes appear to have been thrust from the earth. The result of erosion over millions of years, these naturally occurring monoliths are the subject of one half of The Erratics content, the other half comprises of rock from a different site altogether. On England’s south coast, Harvey-Regan collected chalk stone from rock falls. On returning with these artificial erratics to his studio in London, he spent months carving negative geometric shapes into them with razor blades. This carving can be seen as a reenactment of the natural erosion that occurred in the Western Desert of Egypt. The publication draws these two disparate collections of images together, and by seating them side by side, raises questions of truth and representation in photography.