polythene - canvas - driftwood - polystyrene - netting. Northumberland coastline / collected for site-specific interventions, assemblages, projected works.
Place Attachment (emotional bond between person and place).
Topophilia (Greek topos "place" and philia, "love of") strong sense of place, often related to cultural identity, referenced by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space (1958).
Place Memory - According to Pierre Nora, places of memory (lieux de mémoire) refer to those places where “memory crystallizes and secretes itself”; the places where the exhausted capital of collective memory condenses and is expressed.
slow-motion / / / wave reclaiming land. This tidal area of North-Northumberland coastline is owned by Greenwich Hospital Estates London. Apparently the land was given to retiring Admirals as a reward for their endeavours... Their ancestors still profit financially from tenant farmers / rental properties close to the coastline. This tidal area between low and high water mark should be constituted as 'No mans Land'... A democratic space owned by everyone and no one; re-claimed by the sea with each high tide tide...
Studio experiments with portable cordless analogue projectors - projecting shoreline materials - negative & positive film.
Works that utilise existing shoreline and materials brought to the space tethered to driftwood with monofilament fishing line.
The Japanese concept of 'Ma’ can be perceived as a ‘gap’, ‘pause’ or ’space’ between two structural parts... Organising the process of movement from one place to another. A signifier of the ephemeral, where all kinds of phenomena appear, pass and disappear.
This ‘positive’ emptiness can be related to the interval that comes when our out breath has finished, but the in breathe has not yet begun… Lately I have aligned this to the experience of watching waves unfolding / reaching the end of their journey before dissipating into the sand…
I'm currently researching this concept to inform collaborative working practices encompassing light•dark sound•silence movement•stillness
'The Sunday before' – Mario Giacomelli. (1999/2000) I've been admirer of this photograph for some time. I have related the image to my own practice, exploring themes linked to specificity of place, economy of means and perseverance.
Giacomelli's stark, images are deeply poetic, enigmatic - loaded with drama and possibilities. A balance between the urgency of realism and infinite freedom of pictorial freedom exists. My interest in Giacomelli's work was heightened by the knowledge that he created the majority of his photographs in the landscape where he was born, (Senigallia a small town on Italy's Adriatic coast) a place which he seldom left. This image to my mind alludes seemlessly to graphic design, drawing and sculpture... boundaries are blurred. There is also the notion of the beach as a blank canvas, in which props have been placed within an open air theatre, awaiting a performance. Giacomelli frequently utilised a selection of props which were recurring motifs within several series of works. The image was taken on the Sunday before Giacomelli was hospitalized and in which a perception of the end is revealed.
'The consistency in the spirit of this great artist can be found even at this point: he closes his photographic journey in the same place where it all began: the beach'.
For me the coastal landscape is an omni-present source of inspiration. It was ever thus, growing up close to this coastline induced a deep emotional connection; one I'm reluctant to break. The sense of freedom and accompanying euphoria within this space is often tempered with feelings that I'm indulging in too much escapism (should be networking, applying for opportunities) Last year comprised of curating two group exhibitions entitled 'Materiality'. The second of which took place outdoors on Holy Island, the genesis of beginning to create installations outdoors was personal and mundane... having to leave my dog behind, he was unable to accompany me anymore, due to illness advancing years. For 10 years we'd walked through the coastal landscape barely pausing, constantly moving – therefore photographing, drawing and mark making were gradually dispensed with; accumulated thoughts and interactions being transcribed in the studio. These tentative interactions within the coastal space are now gradually taking presedence.
Documentation of works outdoors is key, along with questions such as to who encounters the work and how? Is the first hand experience preferable, to the 2nd hand version? Lots to think about... This is consuming my research at present as well as feeding into my current project working alongside the North East Photography Network, during which I'm able to developing my practice through a sustained period of research and making. I decided to pursue the idea of creating work outdoors for the reasons outlined above; but also to counter a curator who told me that there is no point in exhibiting work where I live as no-one will come to see it.. This plays into the hierarchical art world system of trying to get the 'right people' to engage and promote the work, I accept this is part of the deal; but feel increasing distain towards it. Part of me wilfully wants to create work outside the confines of gallery spaces, something that is durational due to medium or the fact that it takes place in tidal zones areas which are reclaimed by the sea. I've begun to acknowledge the notion of 'play' in my work outlined by Dr. Mike Collier in his essay to accompany the Holy Island 'Materiality project.
'this was Graham's ‘playground’ as a child – something that is reflected not just in his own playful work, but in the open-ended experimentation of the artworks in this exhibition'.
'Between Reverie & Endeavour' - These pursuits are seen as polar opposite states, but maybe reverie can be obtained through endeavour? Making work intuitively with little distraction or interaction with others means that work can germinate organically. Making a virtue of the time spent in a space - not just months and years, but decades even... Perhaps I'm tapping into a spiritual attachment, tied to lineage attuned to the seasons and accumulated knowledge somehow being transferred, big questions, one that can only be uncovered over a prolonged period of time.
dissapating wave - four continuous exposures on one 35mm film frame