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By: Justine Cook
For the next 12 months I will be an artist in residence at a quarry. I hope to open up a dialogue about working in heavy industry as an artist. This residency has been made possible through the support of both SAFLE and Tarmac.
# 25 [29 August 2011]
'Letting the Light in...'
Justine Cook has been artist in residence at Gore Quarry over the last 12 months. It is possibly the first residency of it's kind and Justine will be opening her studio as it comes to an end.
She will be showing studio works, experiments, comments and thoughts on her response to the working quarry. By opening her studio Justine will share her reactions to the harsh environment, her understanding of the process and her exploration of 'letting the light in'. She is now working on a film which will form the culmination of her residency.
She will be creating an online exhibition of the work created during the residency in the near future.
The project has been supported by Tarmac and Arts Council Wales.
The studio will be open everyday 11am-5pm, 10th-18th September as part of H-art. Look for the pink signs just off the A44.
Hope to see you there!
# 24 [11 May 2011]
Too long away...
# 23 [21 March 2011]
Yesterday was the first day of Spring.
I have placed two stone pieces outside my studio in full sun. My intention is to leave them there from the Spring Equinox to the Autumn Equinox and trace the daylight by the shadow it creates on the stones over that period.
The quarry residency work is becoming more about light and the passage of time.
# 22 [31 January 2011]
The day after my last post I was taken ill with pneumonia and hospitalised. I thought only old or compromised people got pneumonia not fit healthy people! Anyway, it's taken a while to get back on top of things and all I've managed this month is a couple of meetings. I've no more funding for the project but I'm still commited to it. Sound familiar?
I'm still really excited about the project and trying to convince Tarmac that letting other artists experience this environment would be amazing.
I walked along the footpath by my studio yesterday and found a crow's skull - crow's are sort of a motif for the project. The only carving I created so far is of a crow's head.
I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio. I'm now allowed back into dusty places (with masks), so onwards and upwards....
# 21 [9 December 2010]
On Sunday I was allowed into the quarry on my own for the first time. It was a gloriously sunny day with crisp white snow underfoot. Magical. I got to wander around and just look and think for an hour and a half.
The stillness was only broken by stones running off and bird calls. I found tracks of animals scaling quite high mounds of stones. The landscape had a sense of otherness. A world apart.
I got to do want I'd wanted to do from the beginning. I walked into and stood in the heart of the hill. Figures appeared out of the rocks like carvings on Chartres Cathedral; opened up by quarrying, stone was seeing light for the first time.
# 20 [2 December 2010]
Nobody told me they were blasting yesterday, they forgot. To see a blast firing in the snow...
So today I climbed up the hill and over the security fence to photograph the quarry in the snow. A landscape devoid of scale, hills looking like mountains. The only colour was the yellow of the diggers and the blast shelter.
The character of the quarry has changed since they started on the new phase. Before we had shelves mimicking an amphitheatre, now it's a mountain range of promontories and landslides, all very ordered but primitive, earthy.
# 19 [30 November 2010]
I'm finding photographs as well as film are becoming important. I'm using them more and more to make connections, or just to ask questions. The boulder just outside the studio window is intriguing me. Why is it there? Why hasn't it been crushed? It looks defiant. It looks so small. It echos Nash's wooden boulder - what's it's journey?
I hope it's still there everytime I go into the studio.
# 18 [5 November 2010]
It seems appropriate to post about explosions on bonfire night.
As part of my exploration of how the stones in the quarry fracture, I've created a small work of fractured stones held together by the shot blast wire.
# 17 [5 November 2010]
Water and a sink - the studio can function...
# 16 [6 October 2010]
The way in which we create work has come into focus for me at the moment. Because I am in the 'spotlight' so to speak by my hosts, I feel that I should have work to show them. They have nothing tangible to see for this collaboration so far. So it has made me think about how I create work. I find that a huge amount of preparation goes on, especially in my head. Then comes the gathering stage, where all the components are created. Then and only then does it start to come together. Usually in the last few days or even hours. I think a theatre background is the reason why. All elements only coming together for the performance, the installation. Creating a blog is also hard as part of the creation process is to remain invisible, maybe so as to not spoil the illusion when it appears!