The last few months have been a combination of communication and creation.
I have had very definite periods of walking, data collection and then reflection and making.
Ahead of my residency period in Australia I have been busy walking and making new works to be shown in both the UK an AU.
It has been great to build an on-line relationship with artists and hosts at The Lock Up and the Curve in Newcastle NSW ahead of the residency. Plans and preparation for events and exhibitions have all been organised.
A new partnership with National Parks NSW, has offered very exciting possibilities for further research. After an email to the British Embassy informing them of my visit and project they contacted me and offered help and guidance during my visit. Rangers and public relations officers have all offered to help me gather new information during my research period. Guided walks and access to specialist knowledge and archives will all be invaluable to any new work, which I make in response to this trip.
It is hoped that these walks will help me to understand and explore differences between northern and southern hemisphere cultures in their attitudes to walking and understanding to landscape and place.
With two exhibitions planned, work produced in the UK during walking journeys along the Mersey will offer platforms for discussion between artists and audiences of NSW. This will give the opportunity to curate new work together with Lisa Who bringing images of a reimagined Mersey to the Hunter Valley.
Paper works will invite audiences to connect to the Mersey. ‘Matrix of Movement’ is a large installation of hanging lithographs where I use the unique properties of the medium to capture the essence of touch. Understanding of this sense is necessary during walking journeys over such seasonally waterlogged spaces. Transient and fragile these locations demand our attention but refuse to be fully controlled.
The Lock up invited me to show work alongside other international artists in a group show “Every breath we take” explores air and ‘breath’ as a medium, motif or idea to promote reconnection with each other and the human, natural and economic systems that sustain us.
Curator Andrew Styan’s ethos of his show connects with my current research investigating anthropocentric views and disconnection to understanding of place.
‘Permeable Interface’ is a site-specific installation piece, which considers this detachment. Specifically, it focuses on the point at which the experience of encounter determines and affects the physical shape of place.
As we walk we move within the ‘permeable interface’, the point at which surface and weather combines to immerse us through multiple senses, informing knowledge and instilling memory.
Last week saw the opening of a group exhibition Common Ground at Editions Ltd in Liverpool. This show hosted and curated by Olwen McLaughlin will run simultaneously with the exhibitions in NSW. The walks on show demonstrate that walking brings new understanding of place. A comfortable place where shared knowledge and memories present new experiences of place as well as encouraging new developments within personal practice.
I am excited to see what this concentrated period of research and walking offers. An intense period for reflection and conversation with new audiences as well as new locations to hang and see my work, the next few weeks will be exciting.