Eolas is Scots Gaelic meaning knowledge gained through experience.
Breezes appeared daily in the studio; whispering ghosts moving between places and times with an uncanny material presence that could not be contained or pinned down; like a haunting, both there and not there.
The vertical composition and the concept of fluidity and movement of the image was inspired by a Daoist tradition of landscape representation. In this philosophy the realm of light or the sky (Ying) is linked to the dark of earth (Yang) and mountains were seen as special places where these forces naturally come together.
The placement of the work, a few inches out from the wall, allowed he wind to interact with the materiality of the paper and to physically move the image in recognition of its elemental force and powerful agency in the perception and making of the world.
Weather appears in this lens-based work as both a creative and a destructive force. Elements of water, earth, fire and air mix with materials of ink and paper, the eye and hand in dialogue with the effects of time and weather.
The photographs are presented as the residue of time spent in a landscape and the process of mark making, obliteration and redrawing that occurred. Poetically, and serendipitously, the work also became a metaphor for the often harsh realities of rural life and a fallible world in which nature always has the final say.
List of Works
Day 1 – Earth – stones and mist on paper.
Day 2 – Fire – ink, earth, stones and sun on paper.
Day 3 – Water – ink, graphite, stones and rain on paper.
I am interested in the ecologies of remote locations amid idealised associations of nature and wilderness. How remote areas are often romanticised and what impact human presence has on them.
I have taken the poem Dart by Alice Oswald as inspiration and a guide for Genius Loci. Her poem collapses the human/ nature / spirit divide while being aware of the problems involved in their many connections and rifts. Poetry, by its nature, points beyond what we can know, leaving space for the not yet known to come into focus and consequently recede.
Genius Loci started with in situ drawings on concertinaed paper and field sound recordings. The macro landscape vista finally completed, and echoed, by the micro of objects found along the way.
A verbal monologue became a written text in a book to allow space for the reader’s own inner voice to enter into the work and into the landscape. Timecodes next to chapter titles relate to that of the audible soundscape so that the words can be read alongside the recorded sounds.
One form or medium is not intended to have privilege or domination over the other. The experience of the work is a combination of the seen, the heard, the touched and of the visible and the invisible.
I have left the particular location of these works unnamed so as to allow a more personal reading and association with an imagined construction of place.