Hard Rain at the Eden Project
15 May 2006
The open-air exhibition Hard Rain presents a series of unforgettable and sometimes disturbing pictures accompanied by Dylan’s prophetic lyric written more than 40 years ago.
Most of the photographs are from the personal archive of London-based photographer Mark Edwards, who first had the idea of illustrating the apocalyptic imagery of the song when he was lost on the edge of Sahara Desert in 1969. He was rescued by a Tuareg nomad, who led him to safety, made a fire, then produced a cassette player and played the Dylan masterpiece.
As the song unfolded, Mark Edwards was struck by the idea of illustrating each line with a photograph. In the years that followed, he took pictures of his travels through more than 150 countries.
The resulting collection reinterprets Dylan’s classic song as a powerful commentary on climate change, environmental collapse and global poverty. It is an urgent appeal to world leaders – and all citizens – to act responsibly to sustain all of humanity, while also sustaining the planet.
The pictures are to be displayed on a spectacular 40-metre outdoor canvas – the first reportage exhibition of its kind – near Eden’s new £15 million education centre, The Core.
The images are featured in a new book Hard Rain, Our Headlong Collision with Nature, just published by Still Pictures Moving Words.
Tim Smit, Eden’s chief executive, said: “This disturbing, powerfully-moving work is a masterpiece that summons up the ghosts of our past and a vision of a future that was ours to change.”
The exhibition panel ends with the following message from the book's authors:
"Most of the planet’s ecosystems are failing. Global warming and habitat degradation threaten countless species. More than one billion people live in absolute poverty. 1.7 million children die each year from preventable diseases. Environmental and human poverty reinforce and feed off one another.
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The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
"Hard Rain" features on Bob Dylan's album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Buy it on Amazon and support BGCI's plant conservation efforts.