Presencing Place is the inaugural exhibition of a newly formed North East artist collective Land/Space/Place opening 22 February 2014 for four weeks. The group is comprised of post-graduate research students and staff from Northumbria University and University of Sunderland, who have come together to explore convergent themes within their research projects that broadly investigate contemporary cultural uses of space. Curator Suzy O’Hara says “Presencing Place provides us with a route from the virtual world, where contemporary digital culture is rapidly altering the shape and nature of our everyday experiences and interactions, back to our physical, sensory landscapes’ Through a series of physical, intellectual and sensory explorations, we are invited to pause and take time to observe and respond to our material, natural environments. Each work presents a distinct artistic strategy that enables us to reflect and contemplate upon how we negotiate the physicality and experience the impact our presence has upon our surroundings. The exhibition is part of a pilot Graduate Art Programme, a seven month long programme run by Whistle Art Stop. Project co-ordinator Alison Raimes explains “The programme is committed to researching how to support and develop the North East arts graduates, and Haltwhistle provides a fitting context for the group’s first showcase.” Each artist provides a unique perspective exploring our perception and experience of land, space and place. The accepted and often unquestioned authority imbibed in traditional maps is interrogated and challenged in the work of Clare Money. Through a series of techniques that involve pushing the maps fibrous structure past its tipping point and selectively erasing specific information, she investigates if the concealment or refocusing of data can result in alternative clarities or the underlying nature of the land to emerge. Paul Goodfellow seeks to ground his experience and artistic practice in the physical, psychological and sublime landscape. For this work, he draws upon his past career in environmental research and adopts a process known as ‘ground-truthing’. This involves mapping changes in the landscape through the intepretation of satellite images and physically walking in these areas to build up a sense of how these abstract colours related to the place. By logging key information about the physical landscape during a series of ‘System Walks’, and visually interpretating the data produced, he creates what he describes as ‘Systems Art’. As most of these ‘systems’ relate, on some level to landscape, walking in the landscape and a ‘sense of place’ The images to emerge from his ‘Systems Walks’ highlight the dramatic impact that the spatial and temporal fluidity of the Internet and networked information has had on our relationship and understanding of the complex nature of space. Agnieszka Kozlowska experiments in the medium of photography and is driven by a fascination with the moment of photographic exposure, when a tangible link is formed between the light-sensitive surface and the physical world. By constructing primitive cameras, using historical photographic processes and making paper, she explores the status of a photograph as a physical trace rather than purely an image. Kozlowska is interested in how such unique photographic objects affected by rays of light reflected off the scene in front of the lens can signify that which escapes pictorial representation, for example embodied perception of the environment or durational experience of long distance walking. Through a series of photographic objects, she proposes that photography, a natural phenomenon that takes place essentially independently of human intervention, can be a tool for representing what some cultural geographers have termed the ‘more-than-human’, sensuous dimensions of our interaction with the surrounding world. Jude Thomas creates momentary opportunities for reflection and contemplation by carving out space to breathe and escape. These spaces or pauses give permission to encounter and to recognise creativity. The work reflects her sense of awe of what is beyond us, what controls us and shapes the world we live in, the space of weather, of climate, of light. Thomas recognises that instead of skimming across and through the world, we need time to observe and be responsive, somewhere to contain the chaos. Thomas is interested in the layers of space presented by the sky, weather, light, land and thoughts. Through quiet contemplation of the physical object (the natural environment), she understands that nature offers us a sense of release yet also confronts us with challenge, friction and a sense of the unknown. Katie McGown work examines the translation of architectural structures into fabric forms to investigate the potential for urban spaces to be adapted to individual desire. She explores the nature of shelter and construction and how we conceive of the buildings and space around us and imagined rearrangements of the spaces and forms that hold and contain our lives. McGown draws upon personal experiences of moving to a new town, and reimaging a pretty little park whose manicured lawns and panoramic views obscure a history of windmills, plane crashes and plague pits. Her work imagines the missing foundations of past homes through repeated images of fabric blocks photographed on the site, shifting from whole shapes to fragments over the two panels. Lucy Livingstone explores the relationship between narrative and space. Using performance, site-specific installation, video screenings, photography and animation to examine philosophical questions about how we negotiate our environment and how spatial relationships are constructed through, and mediated by, cultural, political and economic imperatives. Drawing on a rich history of walking artists, which emerged from the literary lineage of Edgar Allen Poe and Walter Benjamin, and manifested in the Dadaist, The Surrealists and the Situationalists, she has developed a strategy of ‘getting lost’ on immersive walks. Her walks document the environment through lens based and aural recordings, using the material to create re-presentations of the sites. Text: Suzy O’Hara Paul Goodfellow showed a series of 9 drawings and 9 colour field prints, based on walks carried out in Berlin between 2011 and 2013.
|Accepted/In press - 22 Mar 2014
|Presencing Place - The Shed, Whistle Art Stop, Haltwhistle
Duration: 22 Mar 2014 → …