Ackroyd and Harvey
Beuys’s Acorns: In 2007, Ackroyd & Harvey gathered and germinated hundreds of acorns from renowned artist Joseph Beuys’s seminal artwork 7000 Oaks in Kassel, Germany, and in doing so began a new long term research project.
Beuys’s Acorns·explores the agency of ideas associated with the provenance of the trees, and provokes questions as to the artists’ relationship with nature, the changing climate and collapsing economic order. Beuys had a mission. To change the social order. Mostly the money system. Ackroyd & Harvey ask what the legacy of Beuys’s mission is, given the climate of ecological and economic degradation at the beginning of the 21st century. ackroydandharvey.com
Claude Cattelain demonstrates the role of an artist as a force in the world and as a metaphor for human strength, will and endeavour, attempting the impossible, struggling to overcome obstacles. He uses his body as an instrument to make images, to create sculptural form, but also to test his strength, balance, and powers of concentration. He often puts himself in situations where he undertakes tasks which are nearly impossible or fruitless, but the effort to complete them creates tension and drama. His work explores some of the fundamental visual languages of art, such as balance, symmetry, proportion, line, form. At one level it is about sculpture and drawing, but using the body and a limited range of formal tools and structures. claudecattelain.com
Dalziell and Scullion
Dalziell and Scullion are very much concerned with the predicament the world faces in terms of the environment being under threat from so many causes, from overpopulation, pollution, species losses, climate change. Their work, often stemming from being involved in research projects or commissions, can be an inventive response to any one of those issues, and manages to be both poetic and hard hitting. Their ideas can be strongly rooted in the nature of their native Scotland, nevertheless, they reach much further, through their diverse practice in sculpture, installation, artefacts, clothing and film. https://dalzielscullion.com/about/
Simon Faithfull often places himself in situations of risk and danger, pitting his strength against the elements, especially fire and water. But the risk is essentially a consequence of his curiosity, his desire to discover aspects of the way in which the world is affected by human histories and by human structures, by invention, measure and exploration, both constructive and destructive. His work may involve precisely measured walks, along the Meridien line, on the sea-bed, around the circumference of parallel zones in France and a diametrically opposite island in the Pacific. The effect can be funny, as he scrambles across muddy fields, over people’s garden walls. through their kitchens, along busy roads, in the pursuit of an accurate route. Through such formal artistically devised ways of drawing his path upon the earth, he is also encountering many aspects of human relationships with nature and the environment.
For a recent work ‘Island’ , Faithfull walked the circumference of a sand island in an intertidal zone, keeping going until the sea engulphed him. Originally called ‘A diminishing walk’ (see image to the left), the work raises the spectre of all our most urgent fears about climate change. simonfaithfull.org
Kaitlin explores the continuous dialogue humankind has with the environment, seeking to draw out new interpretations of the landscape. The methodologies and outcomes of Kaitlin’s work are multi-disciplinary and straddle several boundaries. The main divide falls between two bodies of work; representational outcomes of the landscape and site-specific outdoor sculptures. These explorations of the environment function to magnify the subtleties, fragility, power and tension in the landscape. http://katferguson.wixsite.com/kaitlinferguson2
'The way I process work is about letting nature in. Or rather keeping as much of me out of it as possible in order to allow the nature of the work to become apparent. By this I mean working with improvisation and accident. All structures are built·in dynamic relationship, all surfaces are left to the nature of how the material goes on. Nothing is formally 'finished', edges of colour cut across forms, surfaces are only partially covered. I want my working process and me to be ONE, in nature. Although I don't make obvious reference to the natural world nor use natural materials, I feel it is successful if it has become something other, outside of me. So that I, and any viewer, come across the sculpture as something of nature, something that might have grown into its form
I think of my characters as stumbling out of future ruins, from the debris that is a humus of the built and organic material. It is in the spirit of noble survival, with the toughness of that which has undergone struggle but endured, managing to hold on to a residue of humour and love.' leegrandjean.co.uk
Kabir Hussain (work in progress)
Kabir Hussain has spent a year attached to Whitehouse Farm in the Alde Valley, Suffolk, as artist in residence at the invitation of Jason Gathorne Hardy, who owns the farm, is himself an artist and has founded the Alde Valley Spring Festival of food, farming, landscape and arts http://www.aldevalleyspringfestival.co.uk/. Here Kabir is preparing work for an exhibition opening there in June 2017, having made an intense study of a single field.
Isabella Martin is an interdisciplinary artist who explores how we fit in the world and how we relate to the spaces around us. She uses language as a means of navigation, in an approach shaped by questioning, conversation and collaboration. Her work is context speciﬁc, driven by a synthesis between experimental play and active research, working closely with places and people to see what happens. The resulting work ranges from sculpture to performance, film and participatory projects. Isabella has exhibited and completed residencies internationally; from an island in Lake Superior, to the rice fields of Japan and from the suburbs of Copenhagen to the Winchester Science Centre. She is currently Open House Artist in Residence at Kettles Yard, and is a member of the international curatorial and research collective Camp Little Hope. isabellarosemartin.co.uk
Calum McClure is a painter who immerses himself in the landscape and in the artistic process of representing it. He understands how paint can convey the poetry of suggestion with an almost breathlessly light touch. His work evokes atmospheres, especially through the representation of light, shadow and reflections. Some of his images are almost abstract, others quite clearly representational, produced from intense scrutiny of details of grounds and vistas, views from particular places all with their possibility for further imaginative exploration. He is an artist who dreams as he sees and concentrates deeply as he paints, enabling others who view his work to be transported in a similar way. The images are positive, beautiful and lyrical, those of a precious environment to be nurtured and celebrated. calummcclure.com
Simon Read has for many years now played a pioneering role as an artist who works across many disciplines to engage seriously with environmental issues. This he does both directly by the way he lives (on a seagoing barge), where he works (teaching and researching in higher education at Middlesex University) and what he makes (drawings, plans, constructions, inventions), and through the people and organisations who seek him out for collaborations and partnership work. His sea-going life has equipped him especially pertinently for consultations on watery landscapes, coastal erosion, estuarine and shoreline strategies, for which he is determined to play a seriously artistic role as an inventor/intervener, not as a provider of aesthetic diversions. ‘ My point is that our understanding of where we are – landscape, land and so on – is very much a cultural construct and is one that we’ve inherited from the 18th century if not before.’
The threat and reality of climate change for the UK means that some local councils along with the Environment Agency, are forming plans for an energy efficient and low carbon future. The county of Suffolk, where there is already an experience of coastal land-loss, is especially active, aiming to be England’s ‘Greenest County’. Simon Read, as a local resident, has been taking a leading role in a community partnership formed around the river Deben, and has contributed ideas around the enhancement of the river, and made proposals for restoration of its degraded saltmarsh https://www.simonread.info/.
Is an artist photographer who shows us detailed and precise visions of landscape, which aim both to present the world with great intensity and to reach beyond what we think we see, to access another dimension, both scientifically and spiritually. He is interested in time-space shifts, in the science of perception, in how the movement of the earth subtly controls the relationships humans are able to have with its phenomena. Included in this is a fascination with the speed of sound and how this correlates with the speed of the earth’s rotation. One of his works is called 42.97° which represents the latitude at which they coincide and he made a film at this precise location.
His locations are always carefully researched, either for such exact phenomenological reasons, or they are chosen for atmosphere, and are often out of the way, inaccessible, deep into forests, mountains, icy places. He carries a weight of equipment and will often work at night, with the addition of artificial lighting in order better to control the impressions he can make. In the studio he will then work further to bring out colour and detail to manipulate the image so that its power is exactly as he wants it.http://www.timsimmons.co.uk/