Friday 6 March 2015

Returning To The Field - Tracing Time

Between November 2010 and August 2011 I regularly walked to, and spent time, with a field in Penryn, Cornwall (Little Beach Field). An art project grew out of these interactions, I called it Of Time in a Field. (for more details see:

An early encounter with Little Beach Field, Penryn, 2010

Over Three years have passed since I last stepped foot there and a lot of life has happened ( I moved back up north and became a father). Through the confusion-haze of post MA spirals and baby induced sleep deprivation I have explored new (or rather older) ways of working. This work has up until now sat outside the 'walls' of 'Of Time in a Field', but I now see the link.

Shape of Little Beach Field, Soil from field on Tracing Paper, 2010

In the most recent work I have found myself back in close connection with stone. I found the stones that populated the soil of Little Beach to be one of the most interesting aspects of its identity. The land had been cleared, tilled and seeded, for most probably centuries, but the stones have kept coming, asserting themselves. I explored this relationship to stone in a film - Contemplating the Birth of a Field ( - in which I mused over the moving of stones from the land to create the boundary that defined it as a field. It all seemed to me to start with stone - If we want the soil we have to move the stone.

Monolith of the Field, Little Beach, Penryn, 2011
Gathering stones, clearing the land
Screen shot from Contemplating the Birth of a Field

In this new work I am labouring over stone with paper and graphite. I am attempting to capture its physicality in the limited malleability of paper and the glistening softness of graphite. The result is of a silver, metallic, relief embossed into the paper; a homage to the subject through close attention and repetition - perhaps not too dissimilar to the waller? It is not just stone, but wood also; taking rubbings from blocks of ash from a now three year felled garden tree.

Tracing Time, Slate, Graphite and Bideford Black on paper
Tracing Time, Ash, Graphite and Bideford Black on paper

Tracing Time, Ash, Graphite and Bideford Black on paper

They have much in common these drawings, not just with eathother, but also with the land. In the use of materials, the paper, graphite and black earth pigment (Bideford Black) they are of the earth. They are stone on wood - they are wood on wood. These drawings represent wood and stone in a way that one could not have known without the quarryman or forester / wood splitter / fire builder - they show the inside of the earth, structures locked away for millenia or the inner workings of a life reminiscent of ourselves. We also see time as it is embedded in the strata and rings of life. For now I speak of these works as Tracing Time or Touching Time. They sit within the broader project idea: Gathering.

Sunday 6 June 2010


Topographical Dissection:
an exploration of the cartographic representation of place
An Introduction

For the past seven months I have been working in a studio in Bollington, a village to the north of Macclesfield. The studio is approximately three miles, in a geodesic line, from my house near the centre of Macclesfield. Once I had moved my things into the space I made a conscious decision to walk the journey from my home to my new studio and that that would be my primary mode of travel until I felt myself adequately acquainted with the journey and then I may use alternative methods of transport.

There are two main routes to Bollington on foot. One being the Middlewood Way, a path made along the old railway line that once linked Macclesfield and Bollington, the other being the canal. After walking both I decided that the canal route was much more interesting so used that path for the majority of the times I made the journey.

Home to Studio - Studio to Home 2009 - 2010
Photogram on tracing paper photocopy of OS map, ink and pencil

It had been my intention from the outset to use the journey between my home and studio as the source for work. Having made the walk I started to study its shapes on the Ordnance Survey map of the area. The canal stood out to be the mainline link between home and studio, so I focussed my attention there.

My journey spanned the equivalent of five one kilometre squares of the OS map. Through the squares my experience changed from the busy roads of town - people rushing around in their cars to get to the shops, work or to the doctors (there is a medical centre on my road) - to the canal where you notice a sudden change of pace, then back onto the road again into the hustle and bustle of a busy village.

Walking down the steps from the road to the those few feet you leave the rush behind you and join the relative quiet and calm of still water being gently disturbed by ducks swimming about and the air occasionally being filled with their "quacks" or the powerful glide of a heron looking for its next perch (my personal favourite). The canal offers you a slice of the countryside that you just don't get from the road, and walking offers you a pace that enables you to absorb it. (I should find a quote from Rebecca Solnit's 'Wanderlust: a History of Walking' to go here, but for now I will simply say find it and read it. Wonderful!)

Through the experiences of my early walks along the canal I became interested in the different features and uses of the land that surrounded it.

Town, Boundaries, Land
Photocopy of OS map, ink on tracing paper

I started to think about the layering of the place - town, fields/boundaries, the lie of the land - and how they all related. This became the heart of the work, and the map became the tool to use to explore it.

Photocopy of OS map, ink on tracing paper

Wednesday 13 January 2010

IV (details)


4 maxims, 4 artists, 4 works
This is a very belated post regarding the exhibition that was the culmination of a residency I worked alongside Julie Del'Hopital, Jessica Longmore and Sarah Sanders at Rogue Project Space over this past summer. 

The work existed in response to the confines of this set of rules. The rules where democratically decided by the four of us with the intention that the final list would impose challenging restrictions on our practices. 

Work by Julie Del'Hopital

Work by Jessica Longmore

Work by Sarah Sanders

Work by myself

Overview of the exhibition.
To access more information about Julie, Jessica, and Sarah's work please see the links to the right of this page.

Tuesday 29 September 2009


Boundary Displacement is on show at the Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk until 31st October, as part of the exhibition, Unique Perspectives. 

Boundary Displacement
Photograph on graph paper
27cmx32cm (individually framed)


Wednesday 26 August 2009

FROM THERE TO HERE, FROM HERE TO THERE (Exhibition at Red Gallery, Hull)

I am currently exhibiting at the Red Gallery in Hull with Lee Machell.

an exhibition of sculpture, video and installation 
15 August 2009 - 5 September 2009

framed digital prints, framed drawings (pen and ink, and sticky labels on tracing paper, mounted on off white paper) 
white frames, framed map (map, tracing paper and sticky labels)
All framed images: 28cm x 35.5cm
White frames: 90cm x 100cm

For more information please go to the Red Gallery's website: also, if you would like to see Lee's work please check his website: