Much of my recent art has been about the graffiti, shadows, reflections and gritty periphery side of urban areas and cities. It is also about how all these aspects blend with the corners of my thoughts – both conscious and subconscious.
In counterpoint to this I recently spent a week in Derbyshire and wanted to explore my response to the wilder areas of the moors and countryside. I have been reading the book ‘The Moor – A journey into the English wilderness’ by William Atkins and his detailed accounts and personal reflections on the ecology, history, and influences on literature of English moors. This book has inspired me to take those ideas and practices I use within a city to a completely different environment.
As usual my work starts with documenting via photography the surrounding landscape, both close-ups of wild plants and surrounds to distant rolling hills. I am interested in the light and how it falls, the different textures, colours, movement and the natural shapes the landscape suggests to me. The idea of using references from relevant literature appeals to me greatly and I am thinking about how I could incorporate this.
As a child growing up in New Zealand I use to frequently imagine the wild and deserted areas of Scotland. My grandparents were Scottish and this connection no doubted whetted my appetite. Once in the UK, the Scottish Moors did not disappoint. The landscapes, mountains and ever changing colours of Rannoch Moor filled me with wonder and I would dreamily imagine I was that tragic and brave heroine in a novel striding across the moors, hair and skirt flowing behind me.
Now I’m back in London I only have secondary material to work from, such as photographs and literature. In a way this may be useful in that I can focus on the purely visual aspects and literary descriptions of Moor land which should keep my work quite focused.