Thinking back on what I have been doing recently.
Until recently I’ve been involved with a project, ‘ARTeology’ based on exploring the Creative Wiltshire collections of the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre archive.
After looking at some of the material available I decided to study the work of the Wiltshire based sculptor Roger Leigh and inspired by his way of ‘collaging’ together different elements within a single image, I chose to use collage to produce a series of landscapes.
Rather than producing something that just tried to replicate a view, I felt that I wanted to capture the ‘essence’ of the scene. I also wanted to have some of the elements of the landscape physically within the images that were produced, so I collected water from 2 of the local springs to use when creating the watercolour bases that were torn up and re-configured for my works.
After showing a selection at the first ‘ARTeology’ group exhibition at the Manger Barn, Lacock in April 2018, the feedback from people who saw them allowed me to realise that I was achieving the sense of place that I wanted (although I always worry that I’m not managing it!).
Another group exhibition was held in October at the Museum in Chippenham and a final one held at Town Hall Arts in Trowbridge in January 2019.
Throughout the time I carried on making new images and refining what I wanted, gradually creating work that was becoming more abstracted.
My favourite work from the whole series was the last one I made. This had reduced to the sense of air with a streak of wet land below.
This ‘looseness’ is what I really want to continue with.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of layering things. That things can be hidden in these landscapes – as they are in reality, and also that this can be done intentionally – to cover to hide (like a mistake) or to hide (like a secret).
I also forced myself out of my normal, monochrome, way of working into the use of colour for this project.
I’m glad that I did.