Vanishing Stones

I have been reading and listening to conversations with land artists such as Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, both are walking artists who create art in the landscape. I felt that I needed the tacit knowledge to explore first hand, the phenomenological experience of creating art, being in the landscape. Thinking about space and place, I chose the location of the Landing Bay on Lundy Island, particularly for the flat area of sand the availability of pebbles and the tidal line. I was conscious that as a Marine Conservation zone, I did not want to disturb the ecosystem. I wanted to create art that would be carried away by the sea on the incoming tide. This inspiration of tide came from Julie Brooks firestacks, Brooks works in remote locations (like Lundy). and how she connects fire and water is incredible to watch. Julie Brooks work was created in North Harris a place that `i have visited and appreciate its remoteness, not unlike Lundy Island.

Creating the artwork gave a connection to the environment; the smoothness of the pebbles washed by the many tides, each with their own individual markings. It was an enjoyable collaborative activity which felt tactile with the land in this case the beach. Visiting the site the next day, there were only a couple of stones remaining, demonstrating the tide and how it takes away what was there. There was not a feeling of sadness over the lost artwork, just one of knowing. The only memories that we had were in the photographs we took.

I reviewed some of the work by Hamish Fulton and how he uses text on the photographs from his walks. His quote ‘Leave Only Footsteps, Take Only Photographs’ bears lots of resonance with this work, in fact we did not even leave footprints.

As I had only photographs from the walk I decided to make an artwork based on a photograph taken at the time Reviewing the work of Hamish Fulton I see how he create mood by choosing black and white for his photographs. So using Adobe Lightroom I changed the image to black and white. I felt that the work needed text to resonate with the senses I wanted to create. I considered the actual text, in some of Fultons work he simply puts the location so I could have put Lundy, but then I felt it was too much like a postcard. I wanted to use text that referred to the fact that the artwork was transient and would disappear. ( I have read that Fulton believes the text to be as essential as the photograph and in fact carries a notebook with him on his walks, for this purpose). I sat looking at the photographs and referred back to composition and vanishing points. I looked at the landscape as an artist would, a suggestion offered by Maja and Reuben Fowkes (2006) .’..when admiring a natural landscape, we apply the same aesthetic conventions we use for appreciating a work of art’ The term Vanishing related to the Jetty in the distance (the vanishing point) and also I wanted to reflect that vanishing of the stones once the tide reaches its fullness. I played around with the typeface and wanted a sans serif typeface and felt that Helvetica Neue was a clean font. I also wanted the words to stack on top of each other so I used the Kerning tool to achieve this.

Reflection:

I feel that i should have sat there and recorded the time coming in. Maybe now I have learnt how to use Premiere Pro, I could record the event of the tide coming in on video.

This work moved away from my original research proposal which is about peregrination. However we did walk to the site with a purpose/intention of creating a stone circle. It does also resonate with the work of Richard Long who also undertook many pilgrimages which inspired his work. `it is about the Potential of place to represent an inner experience. A theme which i seem to keep coming back to.

Reference:

https://www.juliebrook.com

https://www.juliebrook.com/convers_rob_macfarlane.html

Maja, N. A., and Fowkes, R., (2006). Unframed landscapes: Nature in contemporary art | NeMe. [Online]. Available at http://www.neme.org/texts/unframed-landscapes. [Accessed on 08/11/2020]

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