I am hugely grateful to have received the AN Travel bursary for my residency at the end of the year.  My project investigates reconsiderations of landscape through my fine art practice.  Research will focus on how the geology of landscape shapes and defines communities and how social and cultural histories connect and influence understanding of place.

Through an extension to my current practice of reimagining the landscapes of the North West I will investigate how differences between northern and southern hemisphere cultures have a direct correlation to understanding of landscape when travelling on foot.

This travel bursary will enable me to participate in the international artist residency at The Lock up, NSW at the end of the year providing an essential opportunity to explore ideas of wayfaring and haptic navigation engaging directly with artists and bushwalkers in the Hunter region of NSW.

For the months leading up to the residency I am exploring areas of the Mersey Estuary  considering a traditional western mapping bias, using public rights of way and permissive footpaths on which I base my walking journeys. My focus is on small spaces often on the edges of urban living and industrial sites. I am interested how we access, walk and respond to them and how they provide links to cultural and ecological heritage often forgotten.

Newcastle is one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas, trade and migration routes from Liverpool founded some of the first links between the North West and the NSW offering opportunities for exploring shared cultural and social histories through new work.


New works and drawings are beginning as I begin exploring a couple of sites in the Mersey Estuary.  I am working with The Cheshire Wildlife Trust to access and walk on a couple of reserves they manage.

Gown Meadows is part of the Trust’s Living Landscape and sits in the shadow of Stanlow refinery. The site is an important location for both birds and aquatic invertebrates so understanding of the ecology of the space is an important consideration when walking on site. It is a site in constant transition and flux its semi-aquatic nature creates a dynamic and an energy.  The large open skies host strong winds which carry noise and weather.

This is classic ‘edgeland’ territory, my initial walking took me through what Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts refer to as unwatched wasteland, the fringes where urban space and rural space negotiate and renegotiate their borders.

Before the arrival of Stanlow refinery this site was farmed by the villagers, utilising its cycle of flooding in the winter they were able to catch Eels and other fish. In the dryer summer months the meadows were used for pasture and harvesting hay.  Understanding of place enabled local communities to live alongside this land.

Progress redirected the river and built new boundaries which changed the land and its ecology, however the flow of the Rivers are so great that the meadows are still needed as a protective zone for the refinery.