Untouchable yet ever present, I find light to be one of the most exciting and enigmatic of subjects. I visited Iceland in July 2016 with the help of the AN travel bursary, to experience the length of the Arctic summer light and to immerse myself in the vast, open spaces that characterise this country.
My earlier trip to Iceland in 2014 brought the subject of light firmly into my practice, which I think of as a personal geography that compares the speeds of different places and considers the effects of time and light on the body.
The plan for a return here was to drive west and spend each night on a west facing stretch of coastline so as to experience the full length of the summer days. We drove 1600 kilometres in a week from Akuyeri in the central north, towards the remotest part of the country, the Westfjords and on to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the volcanic west. Although not in the high arctic we still experienced the never ending summer days where the sun would set at about midnight and hover lazily on the horizon for a few hours until rising again.
Bright sunny days and a perpetual dusk in the evenings gave us the sense of being saturated with light and colour and physically confused in the evenings. Light has the potential to skew time and so ideas of absence, presence and permanence began to resonate and have since become present in my painting and photography.
I am grateful for the opportunity to present the beginning of these findings in an exhibition coming up in February 2017 at the Royal Geographical Society. Uncommon Ground: New Art from the Landscape will showcase a wide selection of mediums and approaches to this complex and eternal relationship between artists and our environment. Full information on the exhibition can be found here.
15th Feb – 2nd March