solo art exhibition and art residency

21st Dec 2015 – 21st June 2016

 

as part of The Wealden Literary Festival 2016

set in a beautiful old barn, this show celebrated the death of the winter through the recording of dead skeletal plants and the alignment of string to the winter meridian sunlight angle, in the middle of the summer.

I gave a talk about my work.

 

click link to watch the film featuring me talking about my work:

Wealden Literary Festival 2016 film

 

 

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On the 18th and 19th June 2016 there will be The Wealden Literary Festival, held at Boldshaves garden, near Woodchurch, Kent.

I am presently working in the grounds of Boldshaves and a beautiful barn developing new work, in response to the nature of the place. I will be exhibition this and other work on the theme of nature and place during the weekend festival.

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30th May 2014

As I embark on 10 days of forest life, I find I am interested in responding to the forest environment as directly as possible, abandoning all education and previous methodologies, like a brand-new human arrived on earth.

The bright green of the beech leaves and the jet black trucks are the predominant visual stimuli so far and I have begun to paint with green and make big black charcoal drawings, responding to my emotional, spiritual and physical reaction to the space.

I will not have a computer or electric lighting for the next 10 days.

I am reading Richard Mabey’s ‘Nature Heals’, found in the forest studio library and will continue to research David Nash’s work and animal structures.

I am very grateful to have this opportunity to be wild again, thanks to Stour Valley Arts and all the contributors.

 

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Id primal reaction no.1 – released from ideas and conceptual structures; I express myself as simply and directly as possible with paper and charcoal.

 

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out  – primal reaction no. 2 – an awareness of light and environment comes into the day 2 response.

 

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nest, abode, birth – primal reaction no.3 – feeling inside something looking out, day 3.

 

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universe – primal expression no. 4 – being out in the universal space, perceiving and comprehending the source of light.

 

DSC_0025subject – primal expression no. 5 – cube; object to reflect the universal light and break it down into reasonable and logical structure.

 

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black square – primal reaction no. 6 – the dualism of black and white, light and dark, fear and surrender; a simplification of the cube. From in looking out. Me being in the universe. Dark forest. Fear. Peace. Balance.

 

I found being in the forest scary, especially when sleeping there on my own, why? Fear of not seeing what’s coming IMG_5515s to get you, fear of the unknown…

I’ve become very aware of the dynamic of looking from within the light and looking out into dark and the other way round and how they feel.

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charcoal drawings exploring the dynamic being in and looking out from the opposites of light and dark, white and black.

 

 

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In the dark looking out, things are less frightening and actually inspire in me a sensation of spirituality and a sense of being in a religious building like a cathedral or mosque.

 

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experimental drawings considering the graphic interpretation of out and in the light and dark

 

 

Using Chestnut and Oak wood and a steel canister designed and made by Keith of KGS Metal, Ashford, I made perfect dense black charcoal, in a very hot, chestnut wood fire for 6 hours…

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And then drew with it..

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From inside the forest looking out.

 

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From outside the forest looking in.

 

DSC_0052And again from inside, in my favourite spot

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“Found my poems in a field.”

John Clare, quoted by Richard Mabey, Nature Cure

 

As a continued route of investigation from my artwork Emerge in the Stour Valley Arts exhibition in Ashford (see below), I took a white ‘plaster of Paris cube into the forest and took photographs of it in different forest environments and using the composing mechanism of photography as a tool for exploring contrast.

This process has opened up questions into the use of the phenomena of contrast: the logical, pure, sterile, human shape of the white cube and the connotations associated with it, in relation to the seemingly chaotic and rich, fertile forest environment.

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This action seems to feel like I’m investigating my own relationship with the forest; the cube represents me, trying to position and immerse myself…

 

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Or perhaps it is a comment in response to my perception of the sensation of contemporary culture within the natural environment?

 

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“I believe that language and imagination, far from alienating us from nature, are our most powerful and natural tools for re-engaging with it. […] Culture isn’t the opposite or contrary of nature. It’s the interface between us and the non-human world, our species’ semi-permeable membrane.” Richard Mabey, Nature Cures pp.23

 

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Sleeping on the forest ground.

 

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Ant kingdom and cube.

 

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“But it was regaining that imaginative relationship with the world beyond that was my ‘nature cure’.” Richard Mabey, Nature Cure, pp.64

 

IMG_5389sVoid

 

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The white cube’s final resting place…watch this space…

 

 

6.30am on the back of the loo door…

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shadows in the forest on cartridge paper

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Thank you Stour Valley Arts

Gerry Kelly with speaker over water

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Using the space The Art Shack; the sound artist Gerry Kelly, and two musicians; Clive Fletcher on bass and Ian Gooda on drums, came into the space and using the water pool I’d built for Project 2: camera obscura inverted (see below), reverberated the water using sound waves. A theater spot-light reflected the ripples on the water surface onto the back wall.

It is really beautiful and mesmeric in the real.

The 2 varying patterned ripples of the two instruments overlapped and combined.
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1 x light-proof long barn, 2 x holes