This blog is about my new project, working title, Inside Outside. This title describes my developmental work on the landscape and how experiences in the landscape shape us, stay with us and how we in turn shape it. My work attempts to reveal the natural environment not just as a playground with nice views, but a place which can be brutal, funny, lonely, controversial or full of hidden history. In this context there is much potential for subject matter, from the concerns for environmental sustainability to the slow passage of geological time. The work I make is ultimately about communication with the viewer. I will be seeking collaboration, exhibition, residency and commission opportunities.
I will develop my practice with sound and other elements to make semi immersive landscape experiences that are both informative and transformative. Drawing will be retained as a starting point; the act of the hand to craft shapes is for me a sculptural connection with the forms of the land itself. The new work will be layered with sound and image to create new atmospheric 'worlds'.
I've been thinking about work I did in the past and how it relates to the work I am doing now and there is a direct connection. It's all about interpreting the nature of experience. If you want to see more of my work there is an exhibition on at the moment at Keighley Creative Space, Hanover St, Keighley, BD24 3QJ. Closed at the moment - but of you peer through the huge windows you will see my work.
Here's a peak of an immersive project I did in 2012 for Fabric Bradford, click the link for the Culture Vulture review:
As part of the Inside Outside project, here is my latest exhibition, on through September 2019 at the Mill Bridge Gallery, Skipton
Into the Hills
Exhibition opens Friday 6th September 2019, 6 to 8 pm
Mill Bridge Gallery, Skipton
Are a stage for the performance of heaven
Any audience is incidental
For a while I have been pondering the reasons we ascend, and are even driven to go to the hills and mountains, 'the tang of height' as the author Nan Shepherd called it. I found this poem by Ted Hughes brought together some of these thoughts - the setting (as for a show) the performance, the climb, the stage itself is the ground on which we rest, relieved and weary and yet excited by the scene around us. Looking out onto the world from a different place for a while.
The poem alludes to the land as the stage set for raw weather, the fall of night, unknown animals; the variety of the performance of nature.
This work, I hope, will reveal new meanings about what it is to be surrounded by the imposing dark rocks of a Pennine summit. Transport yourself to the imaginary place of rock and boulders. Is it a place of refuge, sheltering from the wind and the rain? The seemingly slow erosion of the rocks and the beauty of the hydromorphic shapes reminds us that geological time is unimaginably slow. How did these shapes form over the many thousands of years and what did it look like here before? Are we in a geological cycle of growth, decay or both?
These drawings are made with charcoal, a natural substance like the rock. They are unique and created specifically to fit this gallery space.
In the gallery the drawings of rocks and boulders are placed within a very domestic setting that seems quite mediaeval with the dark timber, low doorway and deep reveals of the small windows. Bringing the stark outdoors into this gentle interior space opens windows onto the outside world and the way we interact with the landscape, looking out, bringing meaning to it and nurturing its memory until we visit it again, a truly transformative experience.
'We are now in the mountains and now they are in us'
Photographs illustrating the elevations of the 3 walls of drawings and the work in progress
Drawings from recent adventures in the mountains of Europe (some of which will be on display)