Continuing to develop my Place in Landscape

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We’re well into Autumn now with colours fading, leaves falling from trees and becoming slippery and grimy underfoot. The days are shortening and it’s a time when I start to feel too warm and drowsy to leave my cage and forage outside, but there has been much to do photography wise.

Interventions in the Landscape

Temporary Art

8th October 2015:

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I made a flower of leaves under a fallen tree trunk and photographed it.

9th October 2015:

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I printed the photograph on 6×4 photo paper and took to the print to lie next to sit original

18th October 2015:

The leaves had turned brown and were disintegrating but the photograph remained the same.

13th November 2015:

The leaves have disappeared into the drift of dying leaves over the piece of bark.. The photograph is turning in on itself taking on the shape of a small log.

Wild Flower Seed Balls – 15th October 2015

I strewed these on some soil and will wait for them to create their own art and to see what Spring brings.

Pop-up Mini Exhibition – 3rd November 2015

I’ve talked for a while of creating a mini Exhibition where I would hang photographs from trees in the Copse and have received encouraging comments about this from my tutor and also from member of the OCA Thames Valley group. This would be different from creating a piece of work, taking a photograph as record and then leaving the creation to the elements – as Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy do. Gill Golding sent me a link to the blog of The Elephant’s Journey – a Collective of artists with the purpose “To consider and propose modes of art making and arenas of curation; to work within, what Carla Duarte has described as ‘A Possible Canvas’”.

At the heart of our practice is the documentation of our actions. We are at an early stage of what we see as an on-going practice of returning work, derived from the urban sphere, back to its source”

Members of the Collective have laid photographs in places in Salford, hung them as mobiles from trees in Lisbon, and Gill placed her work near the O2 in London see here  and here. They create their work in urban spaces whereas I create mine in pockets of woodland in suburban spaces. There is something in me that worries about the creation of ‘litter’ in public spaces and I have written about this before. I knew I didn’t want to put something up and leave it there until it disappeared or was taken down and trampled on the ground.

I decided a pop-up Exhibition would be the best for me and, on one of my walks, picked out a spot next to the path which would be easily seen by anyone walking past. Then I printed off four A4 photographs.

The photographs were placed in plastic sleeves, with a green treasury tag through the holes to act as hangers. I had thought of bulldog clips with string as a hanger or dowelling but, in the end, decided that the treasury tags were more simple and in keeping with something very temporary. After further thought I decided to add another plastic sleeve with a sheet labelling the Exhibition and a note adding ”Comments welcome”, plus some scraps of paper and a pencil.

I enjoyed seeing them there. They looked at home somehow and I imagined what it would be like if I was a stranger walking along and saw these photographs in their plastic coats hanging from the trees. Looking closer and thinking, “Oh! They look as if they’ve been taken here”. I went back as it was going dark wondering if anyone at all had seen them as I’ve seen very few people there. They were still there plus someone had actually left a comment. I felt so pleased.

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I was going to take them back the next day but it rained and, somehow, I felt that one day had been enough.

Thoughts

I have some doubts about the wildflower seeds. Am I intervening/interfering too much in the environment because I want to see something pretty grow in the Spring and think “I planted those”? Otherwise I feel satisfied with on-going projects so far. It’s good to continue with something and not just to abandon it to make space for the next part of the Module and a new Assignment.

I still have plans for a geo-cache and have been collecting items but I need to think more clearer about the aims of doing this. It needs to be more than a wish to involve myself in creating a ‘treasure’ hunt.

15th November 2015

References

 https://theelephantsjourney.wordpress.com
https://theelephantsjourney.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/postscript-to-the-thames-walk-from-greenwich/

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19 thoughts on “Continuing to develop my Place in Landscape

  1. This is a really immersive project, Catherine, & I’d love to see more responses. I share your concerns about the wild flower planting, but the place is a public one and people can bring seeds in on their shoes, in their food & many other ways, birds do their bit too so I don’t think you need be worried about it from an environmental point of view. I look forward to seeing what happens!

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  2. Loved the pop up exhibition and so good someone left a note. Perhaps you could try a longer pop-up when the weather is a bit better. I like the idea of returning what you’ve taken to the landscape.

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    • Thanks Teresa. I did think of placing each photograph where I actually created them but then they’d have been scattered around. It was satisfying though to see them hanging there together. I’m thinking now that, in milder weather, I might like to hang them free without the protection of the plastic sleeve.

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  3. I like the ‘pop-up’ as well and. like you, would have problems leaving photographs on the floor – the confusion over littering would be too strong for me.
    However the intervention with a gallery looks wonderful, and like Teresa think you should allow the exhibition to rest for some time – maybe a week? You could add a note to say that the images will be taken down on such and such a date? Well done, very brave.

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    • yes… fully see the issue about litter… I had (and still have) a set of cutouts which originate from a social thing + installation, and I would very much like to ‘lose’ them, have had a number of attempts of doing so over the past couple of years but invariably would run up against the issue that they could turn to litter… always found that interesting in relation to value of what I do but also concerns over what constitutes a good intervention: how little is needed?

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      • I continue to ponder this because there is still the small photograph that I left next to ‘flower’ I created and it has now rolled-up on itself. It can’t be seen from the path but there is that impulse in me that thinks I should remove it now.

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  4. Hi Catherine – I have been looking at this only on the phone for the past wee while and wanted to see it on the larger screen… It’s really good to see how it is becoming a place to go back to and explore its relationship with you over that time; before I turned to the private family spaces I did quite a lot of work outside and always enjoyed it… possibly similar in the way of how you ask what/where is your place within it; I am looking forward to doing some more work outside next year. I know what you mean about time of year; and still: seasonally, and how the world is changing at this time of year, the time Oct-Dec is quite possibly my favourite one and I hope I will be able to muster enough energy to do some night and rain images over the next few weeks (and before all the leaves are blown off the trees).

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    • I have occasionally taken photographs. It isn’t so much the rain but the slippery mud that puts me off. This generally isn’t a good time of year for me so I need to find activities that will give me enough energy to nurture a creative spark.

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  5. Pingback: Project 4 : Photomontage in the age of the internet |

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