In July 2017, I invited beach-goers on Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk, UK to lie still a while on light-sensitive cloth laid out on the shingle. The result was a series of full-scale cyanotypes, Still on the Beach. They were installed on the beach and viewed from the top of the Aldeburgh Lookout Gallery as part of Caroline Wiseman’s year-long programme Duchamp 100 Yearsin which contemporary artists made new work that celebrated Duchamp’s continuing influence on art today.
One of the participants in making the cyanotypes was Felicity Faulkner, a New York-based artist who was in Aldeburgh undertaking a residency there at Brittens-Pear Foundation.
We struck up an instant rapport: we both trained as painters and share a fascination in using experimental approaches to drawing and digital and alternative photographic techniques in relation to site-specific installation.
I told Felicity about an on-going research project that I set up in 2013 called East to East that seeks to enable students, academics and artists to examine, question and reflect on the particular contemporary landscape of the east coast.
We began a dialogue that continued by email over nine months that discussed: the eastern coastal locations in New York State, and Suffolk, UK; on-going concerns about environmental issues, in particular how political actions (and in-actions) have an impact on nature conservation. We decided to try to find a way to develop a collaborative research project linking our concerns and these two east coast locations.