Three New Projects 2017

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It has been a while since the last post, so best to announce some news of three projects  which have been gestating over winter, and now forthcoming this year. After much discussion and persuasion (on my part) with artist Deborah Westmancoat, (Westmancoat.com) we have finally agreed on a collaborative project together. This project conjoins elements of Deborah’s “Ancient Scent” residency in Ireland, and my own “Placing the Mark, Marking the Place”, based upon my Placements series.

I created a text, “Small Rite at Gartan Lough”, which was split into fragments and pasted on nine small boards to which I attached found natural elements. This text will never be seen in its entirety, except by myself and Deborah, and so takes on elements of a private and very personal ritual for us both.. a transaction with the land, an oblation, an offering, to ancient places. Deborah kindly took these nine pieces to Ireland and placed them at significant ancient sites around the country. She in turn will collect natural elements from those locations, send them to me,  and I will make a textual response, and hopefully create work from it. There will be additional documentation, and accompanying images and texts, and we intend to make an edition (and possibly exhibit) together later this year.

Deborah’s work resonates with me, as she makes visual works using water chosen at specific times, or with specific qualities to  mix with paint or natural pigments. A kind of alchemical exchange, the transmutation of base materials into sublime works of visual and conceptual art.

Release Date: TBC

The second project  is relatively new, and is yet to be named. It will also feature a collaborative visual/conceptual element with visual artist Tracy Hill, (tracyhill.co.uk) whose conceptual works centred around mapping and landscape I find utterly fascinating.  I am currently working on text pieces inspired by the submerged landscape known as Doggerland, which spans the coastline of Norfolk, and northward towards Northumberland. This inundated landscape is a repository of archaeological riches, once the homeland of an ancient culture now frozen in time. What is now known as the English Channel was once a field of plains and woodland which then became flooded during the great thaw after the last Ice Age. This might have been the equivalent of an aquatic Pompeii, in which people, animals, plants were slowly subsumed by the encroaching ocean. This project also takes into account other deluged mythic landscapes off the coast of Britain. I wrote some time back about the lost land of Cantre’r Gwaelod – The Lowland Hundred, off the coast of Wales, and I remained intrigued by the lost island of Hy Brasil, reputedly sitting off the coast of Ireland. Could it be that these mythic lands were the vestiges of actual landscape that became submerged at the same time as Doggerland? There is physical evidence to suggest this might be true, yet the folk memory of these places still lingers in the oral tradition.

Release Date: TBC

The third project will be a small collection of text pieces and photographic images informed by the funerary landscape at Flag Fen, provisionally entitled, “A Spoken Ark”.

I visited last year, and this is another example of a landscape and human culture submerged, preserved, held in some form of stasis over the centuries..I was captivated by this site, its atmosphere, its ambiguous history, the compelling objects bequeathed to the waters by Bronze Age settlers in the area, each offering being broken or damaged in some way. I wrote about it on this blog, https://placefieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/flag-fen-funerary-landscape/ and it inspired me to work on some texts dedicated to the Fen and its people.

Release Due Date: June 2017

Visit frequently for updates and edition release dates, and also Facebook: Place Editions

A companion essay to my work and research on Doggerland has been published online by Unofficial Britain here

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