Thursday, 6 August 2009


Today I stuck up all the ideas I have been exploring in one space, with the idea of seeing the bigger picture and creating connections. I found it quite useful, although no major thunderbolts of inspiration. It was just useful to take everything to Manchester and chat to a few people. Sometimes it just helps to explain my ideas to someone else, forcing me to articulate what I really mean.

I have been reading a book by Peter London called Drawing Closer to Nature: Making Art in Dialogue with the Natural World. Although it takes a lot of words to get at some basic principles I am finding it helpful in establishing my own approach to working in the natural environment. A few words I wrote down today as notes were: authenticity, slow, quiet and listening. He says: 'We do not transform nature by our efforts; Nature transforms us by our efforts.' I don't think this is always true, but I think it is something to aim for.

I have decided that the subject area I will explore for my 'Practice in Context' presentation will be 'A Sense of Place'. I am extremely grateful to India Flint for putting a link on her blog to an essay entitled Place Making: some reflections on Western Australian art Practice. I am intrigued by the concept of 'sense of place', which seems to combine a lot of the ideas I have been exploring. Central is the idea that a place is not a geographical location; place implies mental, physical or spiritual involvement. In other words somewhere becomes a place to us through active association; culture.

All this has made me realise that I need to understand the places I want to investigate in much more depth. I need to understand the cultural inheritance and history but even more importantly I must become actively involved in the landscape to fully immerse myself in it. There is so much more I could write about this subject...

Lastly I have come to realise the reason I feel so connected to the woodland near Bingley is because it is mainly beech woods, which are also characteristic of the part of the Chiltern Hill where I grew-up. Consequently I would like to try working in both places to see what I come up with.

One absolutely final thing; I have re-discovered John Wolseley's work and was fascinated to read his website - well worth a read.


  1. Went to the Impressions Gallery today in Bradford and saw some photography based on a theme of Lost In Transit - some interesting work including Bella Wood who used polaroids to capture her journeys and John Curtriss who was using pinhole photography - thought you might be interested if you were passing.

  2. delighted to have been of use...and enjoying your musings very much



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