It’s been an exciting weekend, with the start of Binocular and the coming-together of a few of the people, elements and places involved. In this post I will simply introduce the people involved, but following posts will describe creative discussions and exchanges arising from this start of the project.

I hope that in future posts the voices and perspectives of every-one involved will be communicated more directly. Thinking of all the different lenses in and through which the project will be seen and reflected, I begin to wonder if it should have been called Polyocular.

Caroline Wright and I became interested in each other’s practices following Wysing Arts Centre/PEAK exchange in 2015. We had both observed and interpreted artefacts from museum collections (Boxing the Chimera, Sawdust and Threads, both 2015) and found shared interests in loss, value, resilience, site and sense of place and after discussion exploring these topics through the lens of insider/outsider. We have been in touch ever since, but over the last weekend worked intensively together considering what our collaborative project will entail.

The external curatorial eye and critical review funded by the a-n professional development bursary will be provided by Yasmin Canvin, Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Northamptonshire. Her curatorial experience extends to white cube spaces as well as site responsive work in rural locations: I am particularly interested in her deep understanding of what it means to work in and respond to a rural landscape and its inhabitants ‘connecting urban culture with the rural landscape and rural culture with the urban landscape employing new technology’.

PEAK, an arts organisation based in in the Black Mountains, will host Binocular as part of their forthcoming Fringe programme for the 2016 Eisteddfod in Abergavenny. Rebecca Spooner, director of PEAK, curates their programme of opportunities for contemporary art in the Black Mountains and Welsh Borders.

Oriel Davies‘ Amanda Farr, Director and Alex Boyd Jones, Curator who will also act as curatorial, critical and creative friends throughout, advising on public display and reaching new audiences. In October 2016 Caroline and I have been offered use of Oriel Davies’ TestBed, which, as a concept as well as an exhibition space, offers opportunities to share process-based, experimental work both on and off site.

Our research partner is Dr. Adrian Healy whose intimate knowledge of the Black Mountains along with his international work on economic resilience and innovation will inform artistic exchanges and place them within broader frameworks and concerns.

Binocular is funded by an Arts Council Wales small production grant.


I have been expanding my art-making beyond the studio environment: walking the Black Mountains in Wales, drawing found-objects, working with film and projection in a vast cave complex near to my studio. This is a fruitful area for me, and I’ve found I have been able to share this rurally-based work in unexpected ways from Cardiff to Colorado.

The challenge for me now is to build on progress by opening up my work again to new approaches, and to think more about the dialogue between local and international, insider and outsider, rural and urban.

Working in collaboration interrupts and redirects creative processes in ways I find challenging but intriguing. Over the course of a year, I will be inviting an artist from the other side of the UK to the Black Mountains to explore these themes together.

This bursary will support sustained critical review through 2016, and will bring another layer of external vision to the Binocular project. I’m excited and a bit scared.

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