Definitely not the right season for it
May - June 2022
These works explore the varied plant life that inhabits Scarborough. They explore subject and material and question what might it mean to make work like a plant rather than work of a plant? The title is from Tripadvisor reviews, suggesting green space in Scarborough is only worth seeing in certain ‘right’ seasons.
The photographs are a mix of lumen prints, cyanotypes, anthotypes and cyan-lumens. I am not interested in perfectly composed ‘picturesque,’ images, in fact the anthesis of this; the ‘anti-picturesque.’ These works are worn, aged, smell and slowly change when exposed to light, characteristics very much like the trees they are representing. W.J.T. Mitchell comments on ‘the elemental fact that photographs are things.’ So how can these ‘things’ [photography] be used in a more sustainable and curious ways to represent natural organic subjects, as many of the chemicals used in typical photography production and development is harmful.
Download the full text related to this work on pdf here: Full Text
July 2021 - ongoing
As part of a residency with the sustainable darkroom north I am exploring seaweed as a material for moving image - ongoing process. This thinks about more sustainable ways to make images that depict ecological subjects.
In this clip, I have sewed together various bits of kelp picked from Scarborough beach, dried and then cut into 8mm strips. These are being hand-pulled through an 8mm projector.
In this work, I am thinking about alternatives to film, and how can materiality/an objects "thing-ness" play a greater part in its meaning especially in ecological terms. As Jane Bennett says in Vibrant Matter "how found objects can become vibrant things with a certain effectivity of their own." Can anthropocentric approaches to 'eco-art' be destabilised, by a greater focus on materiality and working alongside and not with 'things'?
I am currently in the process of developing a film on kelp so watch this space....
The Shrinking Archive
April 2021 - ongoing
Ongoing project supported by an Arts Council DYCP that explores the underwater landscape of the Fens, it asks how can you archive represent a shrinking landscape?
I have been learning and developing my knowledge of the Cambridgeshire Fens, and meeting different people, plants and animals living and working with the landscape.
I have complied a growing online archive of my research, which I will grow over the coming year...https://shrinkingarchive.hotglue.me Thoughts, ideas and feedback are most welcome! And if you would like to collaborate/chat, get in touch.
These lumen prints are of an eel basket which I made under the instruction of suekirk willow baskets. I wanted to explore the past traditions of the area, especially in relation to animals and landscape.
Film, exhibition, photography
Humans have long been fascinated with and reliant on non-human animals – for food, transport, clothing and as pets. We are haunted by past connections to animals and many of the objects within the collection reflect this. With more than 35,500 species currently threatened with extinction, this exhibition uses objects and moving image to highlight the entangled relationships between animals and humans, and offers new ways of looking with animals, not just at them – a snapshot into a ‘creaturely’ way of thinking.
I created a series of anthotypes and a film that were displayed alongside the objects.
At Scarborough Art Gallery more info click here
A film commission by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art’s new two-year programme of artistic interventions in public spaces across Northamptonshire, In Steps of Sundew. The programme explores the push and pull between nature and human presence and the effect that extracting resources from the landscape has upon those living within it.
My film extracts images from the digital screen and the rather formalised narrative of industry, iron and the archive that four Corby Heritage films present.
The film is made up of printed stills of Double Harvest (1960), The Great Jib (1952), Iron Ore in Britain (1956) which have been physically cut up,torn, ripped, stained and soaked. These pieces have then been reassembled to form new narratives, with each frame of the film layered on top of the previous one or elements taken away.
A build-up of material, a sense of layering.
Such a technique mimics the construction and deconstruction of the Northamptonshire landscape that the source materials depict and considers also the social/natural history at stake in such interactions.
A Mild and Equable Climate
film, 9.32mins, 2020
A collaboration of sound and image between Martha Cattell and Jonah Hebron. The film plays on the tradition of amateur holidaymaker/archive films of Scarborough, which are often clouded by a sense of positivity and especially nostalgia.
A mild and equable climate subverts this style using slow static footage, of spaces around Scarborough to give a narrative of the town both in stasis and transition, both forward and future looking. It was filmed on three cameras including a phone, to highlight the multiplicity of representations and voices at play and once again reference the amateur films largely made of the town and avoid the more constructed narratives created by the tourist boards.
The shots were chosen to represent the old and new of Scarborough, things that have been lost and things that have changed, there is a repetition of movements present in a lot of shots which further emphasis a town in transition a constancy that fades/grows/retreats, much like the tide and the sea that the town is built around.
The sound work draws heavily on the album ‘Inventions for Radio: The Dreams’ by Delia Derbyshire and Barry Bermange – broadcast on the radio in 1964, it draws together recordings of people describing their dreams with electronic sounds representing the sensations.
This project was shown as part of 'Shifting Sands,' Scarborough, Jan 2020.
I have been thinking and working on the themes of memory and the personal archive recently and how things are recorded, 're'presented or even forgotten.
I was interested in the way postcards offer a form or memory made physical. Image, text and object intertwine to bring a new narrative, half remember, half imagined, half forgotten.
Susan Stewart comments how 'It is not a narrative of the object, it is a narrative of the possessor. ' The postcard is symbolic of this, it becomes reinvented with each 'possessor, ' a fanciful purchase for the image, or a connection to the place depicted.
Mixed media, collage, 2020
Postcards of collages. The series of collages was created using leaflets advertising whale watching trips, collected whilst on a research visit to Iceland. Whale watching is an interesting trade, which although has codes of practices and often plays a part in protecting species, also creates an aura
around whales, and tourists become fascinated with a desire to capture them.
Invading natural habitats and pointing hundreds of cameras as they move through the seas. These collages subvert the typical whale watching imagery, and are displayed as postcards, to further perpetuate the notion
of a souvenir and the tourist experience. The postcards are available to take away.