Eolas is Scots Gaelic meaning knowledge gained through experience.
Breezes moved through the studio via an open window; 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 a fluidity and movement of all that is material was inspired by Daoist philosophy of deep time and its ancient tradition of landscape representation using ink on scrolls. Within 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, held by posts a few inches out from the wall, gave space for the wind to interact and move the paper in recognition of its elemental force as a powerful agent in the experience, perception and making of the world whilst bridging a connection between the actual outer physical landscape and the inner imagined one.
The layered image suggests a landscape experienced over time through varying degrees of visibility and differing weather conditions with a hint at the form of analog film frames.
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.